Rebecca Long-Bailey channels her inner Boris Johnson

Remigio Civitarese
Luglio 18, 2017

Rebecca Long-Bailey, the Shadow Business Secretary, uttered the notorious phrase as she failed to clear up confusion about Labour's stance on membership of the EU single market and customs union.

She said it would be "fantastic" if Labour could negotiate a deal which allowed the United Kingdom to be a member of the single market and the customs union while regaining more control over its laws and borders.

In a widely derided interview she told the veteran interviewer that Labour wanted to "have its cake and eat it" on Britain's terms of leaving the EU. At the time, the Foreign Secretary's comments were the subject of mockery from the opposition...

She said: "If we could negotiate an agreement on remaining within the single market that dealt with all of those issues then that would be fantastic".

It was taken as meaning that the government wanted all the existing benefits of European Union membership plus the advantages of being outside the bloc.

But she added: "I think that's probably unlikely and we'll have to be looking at a more flexible approach that maintains the benefits that we now have in the single market whilst perhaps not being a member".

On the customs union, Long-Bailey said: "Again, the position is very similar".

'We want to maintain the benefits that we now have within the customs union... but you know, we want to have our cake and eat it'.

Asked if that put her in the same position as Mr Johnson, she replied: "We need to be flexible". Long-Bailey explained that Labour wanted to retain the benefits of the customs union and also have the ability to negotiate new trade deals.

Tom Brake, the Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesman, said: "Labour's Brexit position is so indistinguishable from the Conservatives that they have started parroting Boris Johnson".

Mr McDonnell said: "Half of these student debts we now know are not going to be paid back, so the system itself is falling apart, we've got to look at the system".

Asked if such an approach was untenable, Ms Long-Bailey said: "That's the whole point of negotiations". Our end goal is to maintain the benefits we now have as part of the customs union and the single market.

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