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Watch: Emily Thornberry’s Brexit confusion

6 September 2019

10:46 AM

6 September 2019

10:46 AM

As the Labour party currently decides whether it wants to fight a general election, many observers are still trying to work out (three years after the referendum) what the party’s actual Brexit policy is. Does Labour want to Remain? Does it want to fight a second referendum? And if there is a second referendum, what will the party campaign for?

Happily, Labour’s Shadow Foreign Secretary, Emily Thornberry was on Question Time last night to clear up any misunderstandings. Presenter Fiona Bruce began proceedings by making a valiant attempt to outline what she understood was Labour’s current, official Brexit policy, before asking:

‘You would go back to Europe, try and get a better deal. Have a referendum, where Remain is an option.

Would you then be campaigning against your own deal to Remain?’

Remarkably, a flummoxed Thornberry couldn’t answer the simple question. But after a long pause, and bemused laughter from the audience, the shadow Foreign Secretary eventually managed a reply, telling the UK that:

‘Personally, I will campaign to Remain. I will negotiate to the best of my ability, a deal that will look after jobs and the economy, but the best way to look after jobs and the economy is for us to Remain.’

At which point her fellow contestant, the broadcaster Iain Dale, cut in to ask:

‘Do you have any idea how ridiculous that sounds?’

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