Tory peer Lord Frost has lashed out at the Harry and Meghan docuseries, saying its claim that 2016 Brexit referendum sparked an outbreak of “jingoism and nationalism” was wrong.
James Holt, executive director of the Sussexes’ Archewell Foundation, describes Brexit as a “perfect storm that gave credence to jingoism and nationalism” in the Netflix series.
The former Palace spokesperson said leaving the EU “gave people with really horrible views on the world a little bit more strength and confidence to say what they wanted to say”.
Harry added: “So the EU commissioned a report in 2016, exactly the same time that our relationship became public.
“It warned that if the government isn’t going to do anything or if the media aren’t going to sort themselves out, then a culture war, that already existed, was going to become huge and become a real problem.”
Lord Frost, Boris Johnson’s former Brexit minister, said the claims “resurrects the tired old criticism that our decision to leave the EU was driven by racism – and even asserts that such attitudes worsened pressures on their marriage”.
He told the Daily Mail: “This smear just does not stand up to examination. All opinion surveys show that Britain is an unusually welcoming country to people of all backgrounds, has among the lowest levels of racism in Europe, and is most positive about diversity.”
The Brexit hardliner also suggested the Sussexes’ “are either ignorant of the real facts or making deliberately incorrect claims for political reasons”.
No 10 said on Friday that boycotting Netflix was not government policy, after Tory minister Guy Opperman suggested he would stop watching the streaming platform over the Harry and Meghan’s criticism of the royal family.
“I would urge everyone to boycott Netflix and make sure that we actually focus on the things that matter,” the employment minister told BBC’s Question Time – calling the Sussexes a “troubled couple”.
A Downing Street spokesperson later told reporters that it was “a matter for the public what channels they want to watch”.
Meanwhile, Tory MP Bob Seely is planning to bring forward proposed legislation that could eventually strip Harry and Meghan of their royal titles.
The Isle of Wight accused the Duke of Sussex of “attacking” the monarchy, calling it a “political issue”.
He suggested he could bring forward a short private members’ bill in the new year that, if passed, would see the MPs vote on a resolution that could give the Privy Council the power to downgrade the couple’s royal status.