Yesterday's speech of the day was without a doubt delivered by Caroline Flint, the Labour MP for Don Valley. You can watch it here. During that speech she was heckled by Anna Soubry who shouted "shame" at her across the chamber because Flint said, referring to EEA membership, that Michel Barnier would "bite off the Prime Minister’s hand for that deal, because apart from leaving without any deal, it is the worst deal for the United Kingdom."
Later in her speech, she said:
"Those of my constituents who voted leave have been insulted, day in and day out, by comments made in the place and outside. They are not against all migration, but they want a sense that we can turn the tap on and off when we choose to do so."
That was the message I received loud and clear during the referendum debate. And that message hasn't changed. It's not racist. It's not xenophobic. It's the ability to be able to control immigration.
Soubry was up next after Flint sat down. She began by saying, "I am sorry, Mr Speaker, because I know it is a courtesy to say so, but it is not a pleasure to follow the right hon. Member for Don Valley (Caroline Flint). I have admired her for many years, but I found that one of the saddest speeches I have ever heard." Cue interruptions from her own side. She went on to say that she was "appalled that she [Caroline Flint], as a member of the Labour party, has stood up and shown that she does not understand and appreciate the considerable value that immigrants have brought to our country."
But she hadn't said that, and Flint defended herself from that unwarranted and false accusation.
Soubry's response to Flint's speech says everything you need to know about her and some other Remainers. They hold the working class in contempt. Taking back control of our borders and our laws was the main reason 17,410,742 people voted to Leave. People like Soubry don't see that. Or at least they refuse to admit it. She didn't shout racist across the Commons chamber yesterday, but she may as well have. To her, millions of our fellow citizens are just thick racist bigots who should never have had the opportunity to cast a vote. She probably thinks the same about me. She certainly doesn't think that I am a proper Conservative, which is rather ironic coming from her, but I am certain that she doesn't appreciate the irony.
All that those of us who voted to leave the EU want is for the Government to get on with it. Yet here we are, almost two years since the referendum, having to endure Soubry, et al. doing their best to effectively reverse the decision because they don't like the result.
Caroline Flint, unlike so many of her colleagues on the Labour benches, gets it. She campaigned for Remain, but she also knows that her constituents weren't duped. They disagreed with her. They knew exactly what they were voting for. They aren't stupid. To treat them as if they are is reprehensible and insulting. And for standing up for her constituents, she was attacked by the cheer leader of Remain in the Commons - someone who holds Leave voters in contempt. It really does tell you all you need to know.
Photo Credit: Official Portrait of Caroline Flint