Tory grandee Michael Heseltine says a Corbyn government would be less dangerous for Britain than Brexit

  • Tory peer Michael Heseltine believes Brexit will be so damaging that he would rather see a Labour government led by Jeremy Corbyn than see Britain leave the European Union.
  • “We have survived Labour governments before. Their damage tends to be short-term and capable of rectification. Brexit is not short-term and is not easily capable of rectification. There will be those who question whether the short-term pain justifies the avoidance of the long-term disaster,” he said.

LONDON – Tory peer Michael Heseltine believes Brexit will be so damaging that he would rather see a Labour government led by Jeremy Corbyn in power than see Britain leave the European Union.

Heseltine made the claim, which is remarkable for one of the country’s best-known Conservative grandees, in an interview with the Limehouse Podcast. He said a Corbyn government would still have a negative effect on the country, but said leaving the EU would be worse in the longer term.

Asked what would happen after five years of a Corbyn government, Heseltine, a lifelong Europhile, said: “We have survived Labour governments before. Their damage tends to be short-term and capable of rectification. Brexit is not short-term and is not easily capable of rectification. There will be those who question whether the short-term pain justifies the avoidance of the long-term disaster.”

Heseltine, who was Deputy Prime Minister between 1995 and 1997, has been an outspoken critic of his party’s approach to Brexit since the EU referendum in June 2016.

He also said Labour would turn against Brexit as public opinion towards the project soured, and warned the Conservatives would be “left holding the baby.”

“If you look at the polls there is probably a bigger majority against Brexit than the referendum secured but that, I think, will continue to happen and it will become more and more unpopular as people realise what it’s all about.

“When that happens, the Labour party will move, and the present government will be left holding the baby.

“But then you have got to realise the present government is supported by large numbers of people as opposed to Brexit as I am. How long will they remain within the tribe and loyal to the party?”

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