A London councillor has been blasted for making bizarre claims about the EU’s position after Brexit and putting on a French accent in an interview.
Matthew Goodwin-Freeman found himself in a heated exchange with professor of economics at King’s College London, Jonathan Portes, as critics suggested the councillor was “mocking foreigners”.
The debate spilled over onto X – formerly known as Twitter – after Mr Goodwin-Freeman insisted the EU only got a better Brexit deal out of spite for the UK.
Sir Keir Starmer recently suggested he would look to rewrite the existing Brexit deal, prompting a heated discussion over the state of the EU exit.
Speaking on GB News breakfast show, Prof Portes called the current arrangement “a bad deal from a UK perspective”.
He added it was causing “significant economic damage” to the country.
A “significant majority” of people in the UK have “recognised the reality that it’s not working for us”, the professor said.
While Cllr Goodwin-Freeman agreed that the deal was poor for the UK, in comparison to the EU, and they had “the pick of the crop”, he insisted this was the EU’s fault.
He claimed the bloc “wanted to punish us for having the audacity to take back our sovereignty” and called for a focus on “the long-term”, calling for the UK to “get back to global Britain” by negotiating trade deals with the rest of the world.
He argued “the EU is 27 countries, there’s 195 in the world”, and said he didn’t trust “Sir Flip Flop” regarding Sir Keir’s comments.
The Harrow councillor then proceeded to put on a bizarre French accent as he said the Labour leader “is going to rework the deal and the EU has gone ‘non, s’il vous plait, we don’t want to redo the deal'”.
Mr Portes pointed out that this attitude was not conducive to securing a more profitable Brexit deal with the EU.
He said the UK was “more interested in mocking French accents than it is in a constructive relationship with our European partners.”
Later taking to X, he added the councillor was “silly for putting on a (terrible) fake French accent to mock foreigners during what was supposed to be a serious discussion about trade issues.”
He described the performance as “clownish behaviour at any age and certainly inappropriate for a councillor.”
The councillor also mistakenly suggested Labour would join an EU-wide scheme to allow the movement of 100,000 more migrants into the country.
Sir Keir has previously pointed out that as the UK is not a member of the EU, his government would not take us into the scheme should he succeed at the next election.
Professor Portes said: “This sort of illustrates who it’s going to be difficult to do a deal with the EU, or any country, when you have elected representatives coming out with something which everyone knows are simply lies.”
He added: “When people like Matthew talk about 100,000 migrants they are simply lies and fantasies and we should ignore them and try and get back to discussing seriously.”