Former Tory politician Ann Widdecombe said she is very optimistic for Gibraltar as the UK prepares to leave the European Union, adding that Britain will not desert the Rock and will ensure that it is “included in everything”.
Miss Widdecombe, a Brexiteer, was speaking on the second day of the fifth edition of the Gibraltar Gibunco International Literary Festival during a lively conversation relating to her multifaceted career in politics, television and writing.
She told the packed out theatre audience at the John Mackintosh Hall that she voted for Brexit for three reasons: so that Britain could control its own laws, so that Britain could control its own borders and to see Britain governed by a democratically elected body.
Interestingly, she did so to cheers of “hear, hear” and loud applause.
Miss Widdecombe added that she regretted supporting Britain’s membership of the European Union back in 1975.
“I voted in because I thought we were joining a tariff agreement, it was the European Economic Community and I was all for that, what I didn’t realise…was that we would gradually be absorbed into a political union,” she said.
“I am very, very optimistic for Britain and for Gibraltar when we come out of the EU, we’ll be able to trade globally,” she added.
The former Strictly Come Dancing Star also backed current Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond as the next Prime Minister.
She added that although he has the ability, sense and perception for the role he will not get it because he lacks the charisma for the position.
Asked if she thinks the Conservative party can survive Brexit, she was adamant that it would, adding “but sooner or later we’ve got to really start fighting Corbyn”.
Miss Widdecombe further added that whether Theresa May survives Brexit “is a different issue, but I don’t want her going before Brexit…we can’t worry about a leadership election in the middle of that.”