On the night parliament was suspended until October, MP Neil Coyle described a National Unity Government as an “immediate and pressing need” to take control of Brexit, and shared his fears that an alliance between the Conservatives and Farage’s Brexit Party would lead to the rise of “cryptofacism” in the UK.
But his claims were blasted by the Brexit Party’s candidate for Bermondsey and Old Southwark, who says his party is “less racist than the EU”, and called for a general election – arguing MPs themselves are to blame for the prospect of No Deal after “voting against every option put to them”.
Coyle says he is clear that a No Deal Brexit could lead to the break-up of the UK and the “worst possible outcomes” for constituents and the economy at large, and has continued to back Remain and revoking Article 50 – or an extension.
Speaking to the News on Monday, The Labour MP for Bermondsey and Old Southwark said: “We should all welcome a National Unity Government, this goes well and above party politics.
“We need it for a fixed-term until we have a general election” – he has previously backed Harriet Harman to lead a coalition to navigate the Brexit impasse.
In light of the turmoil in the Conservative party, and the commons, he described his fears that the lurch to the right and alliance with Farage’s Brexit Party could lead to the growth of “crypto-fascism”.
“These are the most extraordinary times and we are in the most dangerous position since we stood against Hitler,” he said.
But Alex Matthews, the Brexit Party candidate standing in Bermondsey and Old Southwark, said claims of fascism in Farage’s party and behaviour in Westminster were “hyperbolic” and “offensive those people who have lived in fascist regimes”.
He said: “We need to lower the temperature. The debate has turned toxic. I have fallen out with people in my own family over Brexit, and it is horrible, but I think the divisions in the country were always there.
“The idea that ours is a party of racism is ridiculous when we’ve doubled representation of ethnic minority MEPs.
“What people neglect to mention is that there are many who people who view the EU as a racist institution. My wife is Chinese and it took so much for her to be able to live here. Afterward she said: ‘You are happy to have white Europeans but make it impossible for people like me’.
“We have taken away the rights of people from the Commonwealth and given them to people from Europe.
“Why is it that the descendants of people who fought for the Nazis have the automatic right to come here but it’s not the same for the descendants of those who fought for us?”
He believes the only way out of the Brexit quagmire is with a general election, and said he didn’t see Johnson’s move to prorogue parliament as an attack on democracy.
“The suspension is the longest since the civil war, but three weeks of it would have been conference season anyway,” he said. “Of course he is doing it to cut down the amount of time they can debate, but that is within the rules.”
He accepts there is “no mandate for no deal right now – but that is why we need a general election”, and thinks the PM could have another card up his sleeve to get a poll in early October rather than after the 31st.
“We are where we are because MPs voted against every deal put to them, despite many standing on a platform of honouring the referendum result.
“We have to remember what was said before the referendum, from Osborne and all the rest, all the doom and gloom. There will of course be some disruption, but most of what was said hasn’t happened.”