Brexit: David Frost on chances of financial services agreement
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Jenny Chapman, who was ousted as the Labour leader’s chief adviser, will join the shadow cabinet to act as the opposite number to Brexit minister Lord Frost. Ms Thornberry responded to the new appointment on Twitter and insisted Baroness Chapman would “be taking no prisoners”.
The shadow International Trade Secretary and arch Remainer also vowed to work together with Baroness Chapman to strengthen ties with the EU.
Ms Thornberry wrote: “I’m looking forward to working closely with @JennyChapman to ensure we protect our trade with Europe – our biggest and most important market.
“Watch out Lord Frost, she’ll be taking no prisoners!”
Baroness Chapman had served Sir Keir’s closest adviser and ran his successful campaign to lead the Labour Party last year.
But, the former Darlington MP was relieved of her duties in the wake of disastrous set of local election results and a humiliating by-election defeat in Hartlepool.
The shake-up also comes as the latest polls suggest Labour could be about to lose another seat in its traditional heartlands when voters go to the polls in Batley and Spen next week.
Baroness Chapman, who also previously served in the shadow Brexit team, pledged to hold the Government to account on its vision for the UK outside the EU.
She said: “I’m delighted that Keir has asked me to join the shadow cabinet, to help challenge the Government on the delivery of its post-Brexit promises and ensure a positive future for Britain outside of the EU.
“I’m also delighted to be joining Labour’s front bench in the House of Lords, and look forward to working more closely with Angela Smith, Dianne Hayter, Roy Kennedy and the rest of the team on holding Lords ministers to account.”
The jibe on social media from Ms Thornberry came as she clashed with her opposite number Liz Truss in the Commons over the UK’s post-Brexit plans to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
The International Trade Secretary said the UK is “at the front of the queue” to join a major transpacific trade agreement.
But, Ms Thornberry accused the Government of being “rule-takers, not rule-makers” and “petty point scoring” in its pursuit of the 11-nation trading bloc, which includes Australia, Canada and Japan.
She said: “Reading the Government’s so-called negotiating objectives this appears to be the only negotiation in British history where the objective is to accept everything the other side wants as quickly as possible with not one single demand of our own.
“Not one single clause in the thousands of pages that make up the agreement where the Government will be seeking any exemptions or any amendments to reflect Britain’s interests. That is the literal definition of being rule-takers, not rule-makers.”
She added: “This country at the moment seems to be negotiating trade agreements in order to prove a political point, and that political point is that Brexit works.
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“Well, frankly, I do think that we should be putting our country’s interests first and foremost rather than petty point-scoring.”
Ms Truss pointed out the UK was “making history” in applying to join the CPTPP, she said: “We know that the richest opportunities lie in the Asia Pacific region, where around two-thirds of the middle class will be expected to be in 2030.”
Ms Truss added: “Joining will do more than ever to realise our vision of global Britain as we embrace new markets while levelling up every region and nation of the UK. That is the bright future awaiting us as part of CPTPP.”
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