Emily Thornberry and Evan Davis clashed on Newsnight
The Remoaner MP was asked by the BBC presenter to outline her party’s policy on the crumbling Brussels bloc but confused the Newsnight presenter with her attempt.
When asked how she would clarify her position when canvassing to voters, Thornberry was not able to say whether she was in favour of free movement.
I’m not entirely clear between market access, let’s call that good for the economy, and control of borders, which allows us to control immigration
He said: “I’m not entirely clear between market access, let’s call that good for the economy, and control of borders, which allows us to control immigration.”
In a desperate bid to clarify her party’s position, she said: “Our position is this: that the British people have spoken, we have our instructions, we have to make sure that we get the best possible deal.
“We believe the best possible deal begins with the economy. Nobody voted, whether they voted to remain or leave, to be poorer or to lose their job.”
When pressed on if she would accept less control of Britain’s borders in favour of single market access, she was again unable give provide a straight answer.
Thornberry would not clarify if Labour would ditch the single market to gain control over migration
She said: “There are definitely differences in terms of emphasis but I think the speech that she made, she was trying to ride two horses at once that were going in two different directions.
“And it’s our job as the opposition, and remember we are only the opposition, to hold her to account.”
The Labour MP admitted her party liked May’s proposals of securing tariff free trade with the EU and cutting red tape.
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However when Evan Davis asked if she would keep access to the single market – which would mean not being able to impose restrictions on EU migrants entering the UK – Thornberry was seemingly unable to give a clear direction.
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She said: “If we are not going to be in the single market and we are going to have to have a custom made deal for Britain then there will need to negotiating and we have made it clear that we will not die in a ditch for freedom of movement.
“There needs to be give and take on this and our priority is to make sure no-one loses their job and that we look after the economy.”
Social media users seemed equally unable to understand Thornberry’s position
Social media users seemed equally unable to understand Thornberry’s position.
Dr Dan Kirk tweeted: “Qs Time & Newsnight on BBC-Labour's Emily Thornberry is an ineffective & I'll-informed spokesperson for party. #LabourGoingDownhill @labour.”
Paul J Davison tweeted: “Emily Thornberry says 'we're only the opposition' – the opposition is supposed to aspire to government #newsnight.”