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East Anglia Future 50

Broadcaster Brexit comments leave TV host baffled

PUBLISHED: 11:55 18 January 2019 | UPDATED: 15:48 18 January 2019

Brexiteer broadcaster Liz Kershaw has branded the job losses at Phillips “great news” for Brexit on breakfast television. Photograph: SKY NEWS

Brexiteer broadcaster Liz Kershaw has branded the job losses at Phillips “great news” for Brexit on breakfast television. Photograph: SKY NEWS

Broadcaster Liz Kershaw branded Philips Avent leaving East Anglia as “great news” for Brexit on breakfast television – but added the job losses were “terrible”.

As she reviewed the newspapers for Sky News, she left the presenters baffled, as well as the fellow reviewer, as she commented on job losses at the factory in Glemsford in Suffolk which makes baby bottles and soothers.

The business is going to stop manufacturing in the UK, and although the company claims this would have happened “regardless of Brexit”, the announcement came only months after its chief executive warned if a good Brexit deal was not delivered, it would move its UK manufacturing base to Europe.

While most would see the move – which will result in at least 430 job losses - as terrible, Kershaw claimed it was “good news” that Philips had such faith in the UK.

“I think this is great. It is terrible that jobs are lost in East Anglia, however, doesn’t it show faith by a multinational in a global market that they can manufacture these bottles in Holland and still easily frictionless trade be able to import them to the UK,” said Kershaw, who is a BBC Radio 6 Music DJ.

MORE: REACTION: 500 jobs to go at Suffolk Factory

Presenters Stephen Dixon and Gillian Joseph were forced to intervene – hinting that her argument was insensitive.

Joseph said: “I don’t think the 430 people who have lost their job will see it as a positive.”

The news had been greeted with many tears on the factory floor as it was delivered by bosses to workers yesterday morning.

Kershaw, however, continued to dig a hole.

“I’m not saying that, I don’t like that, I’m saying rather than ‘ooh we’re leaving because Brexit is going to be bad’. I think you can put your own spin on anything.

“You could say that if you’re a Remainer, if you believe in Brexit you can say ‘isn’t it good news that means Brexit believes Philips can still transport these bottles and warmers frictionless trade back into the UK.

“I’m saying you can put any spin you want on this...

“I was only using it as an illustration that whatever belief is... you can interpret it in a positive or negative manner.

“I wish I’d never mentioned it!”

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