Prime Minister Theresa May has today spoken in the House of Commons, announcing she has called off Tuesday’s vote on her Brexit deal. She has done so as she believes her deal “would be rejected by a significant margin”. In reaction to this, Labour MP Dennis Skinner said today: “Mrs Thatcher had a word for it F.R.I.T – she’s frit.”
In the early 1980s, Margaret Thatcher accused the Labour politician Denis Healey of being “frit”.
Mrs May was accused of “handing over power to the EU” by delaying the vote, according to a Labour MP.
But Mrs May hit back, retorting: “And I have every confidence that if I had not listened to members of this House, then Mr Skinner would have stood up and complained about that.
What does Frit mean?
Frit means frightened, and at the time of Mrs Thatcher using the world was attributed to Lincolnshire dialect, demonstrating the Prime Minister’s Grantham background.
This wasn’t quite true – as “frit” is used much more widely in English regional use than just Lincolnshire.
The term was then used a lot by Mrs Thatcher’s political opponents, with cries of “frit” and “is she frit?” and even “Madame Frit”.
Mrs May has faced fierce criticism from all sides on her Brexit withdrawal deal, with Jeremy Corbyn warning an “extremely serious and unprecedented situation” had emerged from the Prime Minister pushing back decisions on the Brexit deal.
The Labour leader added: “The Government has lost control of events and is in complete disarray.”
However, Mrs May was defended from the accusation she was “frit” by a Tory MP, who said she had shown “courage”.
To cheers from the Conservative benches, Dame Cheryl Gillan said: “Far from being frit, I think this Prime Minister has shown great courage in coming back to face this House, delay this vote in efforts to get the best possible deal for this country.”
Dame Gillan also said it would “let the voters down” if the UK was to hold a second referendum on EU membership.
Mrs May replied: “I think she is absolutely right.
“I think those people, many of whom voted for the first time when they voted in the referendum in 2016, will indeed question why should we vote in future if this Parliament does not deliver on that result.”
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