On Thursday, Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow cabinet found themselves in disarray after the Labour leader suggested he would issue a three-line whip for MPs to vote to trigger Article 50. This upset many in his party as they had hoped he would make Labour’s consent — at the very least — conditional upon certain details being revealed or caveats regarding Britain’s possible future as a tax haven.
So, with that in mind, brains at Labour decided the best plan of action was to send Emily Thornberry on Question Time to field questions on the matter. Alas the shadow foreign secretary soon found herself under fire from all sides as Chris Grayling took issue with her party’s immigration stance and the Liberal Democrat’s Alastair Carmichael suggested — to cheers — that Labour could no longer call themselves the opposition:
AC: Emily cannot sit there and say that she’s going to have an adult conversation and then in the next breath say that the Labour Party will not stand in the way of Brexit. It is the job of the official opposition in Parliament to scrutinise Government, we know what the Conservatives want to do now. We know that they want to take us out of the single market, we know that they want to take us out of the customs union. We heard from Philip Hammond on the weekend that they want to make us a Singapore without the sunshine. We are going to be a low tax, low regulation economy. And you’re just going to open the door to that?
ET: The difficulty is, is that Labour is not in power. I don’t know if anyone has noticed that, but the Conservatives are in power.
AC: You’re not even in opposition.
Although Thornberry went on to try and prove she was a member of the opposition by criticising May’s ‘contradictory’ Brexit plan, David Dimbleby cut her off.
Still, as confusion continues to reign today over the beleaguered party’s Brexit position, Mr S suspects that Carmichael may be on to something after all…