TUC chief accuses Theresa May of 'sending a letter to Santa'

Written by James Millar on 11 September 2017 in Diary

Frances O'Grady wasn't feeling festive as she laid into government approach to Brexit

TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady has claimed the UK's negotiating strategy in Brexit talks is more like a "letter to Santa" than a realistic position.

In a round of interviews this morning ahead of her keynote speech to TUC conference today she called on the government to keep all options on the table and keep the UK in the single market after Brexit.

She dismissed the government's stance that it can maintain the benefits of being in the EU without actually being in the club - increasingly referred to a 'cakeist' position after Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson claimed he was "pro cake, and pro eating it" - as not 'grown up'.

She said: "The Prime Minister is sticking to the same old script that she can get whatever she wants, that we can all have all the same benefits of the single market without playing by the rules. This isn't a grown-up negotiating position. It's a letter to Santa.

"My challenge to all political parties is this: when it comes to Brexit, don't box yourselves in. Don't rule anything out. Keep all options on the table. And put jobs, rights and livelihoods first."

Her reference to "all political parties" is seen as a dig at Labour who have softened their position on Brexit over the summer to include staying in the single market for a transitional period but who still support a clean break with the EU at the end of the process.

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