Liz Truss: Labour must accept EU referendum result and 'move on'

Liz Truss speaks to Andrew Marr. Credit: BBC/The Andrew Marr Show

The Labour Party need to accept the EU referendum result, and "move on",Justice Secretary Liz Truss has said.

Speaking on The Andrew Marr Show the Conservative MP said the bill on triggering Article 50 was passed with a large majority in the House of Commons, meaning the House of Lords now must also "get on with it".

However, Ms Truss failed to answer whether the Government would use the Parliament Bill to force through the legislation should the peers delay it.

Ms Truss said she believed Article 50 to be "irrevocable" and since it was the will of the British people it must take place.

Should there be a second referendum as suggested by former prime minister Tony Blair on Friday, the former remain voter said she would now vote to leave, since it "is the settled will of the British people".

She continued: "We are now on an irrevocable path to leaving the European Union, we have a clear vision of what we want to achieve and times have changed. Times have changed."

Rather than "fighting yesterday's battle" and trying to frustrate Brexit, the country should instead focus on "getting on with those trade deals, doing what we need to do to reform our country, whether it's through our education system, our health service... the prison system".

Questioning Ms Truss on her position as Justice Secretary, Mr Marr put the question to the MP for South West Norfolk that the prison system was "in crisis".

Ms Truss acknowledged that there was a "difficult situation" in the prison system, following 119 suicides and 25,000 last year, and that reform was required.

This reform however, "will take time, it's not something that can be sorted in weeks or months", she added.

Thousands of prison officers will receive a pay rise in a new drive to boost staffing levels. Credit: PA

Responding to the fact that there are now 6,000 less prison officers since the Government came into power, Ms Truss argued that: "The world has changed and we're digitising our prisons and we're running them in different ways."

She continued that under new plans, each prison officer will be assigned six prisoners who they will help reform through education and "getting them off drugs".

Responding to criticism that she did not know the prison system, Ms Truss insisted she had visited 15 prisons, so "I know what goes on in our prisons".