Emily Thornberry criticised after saying Labour would negotiate new Brexit deal then vote against it

David Harding
Emily Thornberry (REUTERS/Hannah McKay)

Political opponents have criticised Labour frontbencher Emily Thornberry after she suggested Labour would try to negotiate a new Brexit deal then reject it in a second referendum.

They were reacting to comments made by the shadow foreign secretary on BBC’s Question Time.

She was quizzed by host Fiona Bruce over Labour’s Europe policy.

“If you were to win a General Election, you would go to Europe, try and get a better deal, have a referendum where Remain is an option,” asked Bruce.

“Would you then be campaigning against your own deal, to Remain against your own deal you negotiated? Or would you be actually saying, no support our deal?'.

The Islington South MP responded that she would campaign to remain even if a deal with Brussels was done.

“I would negotiate a deal 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,” said the senior Labour MP.

Political opponents seized on the comments.

Cabinet member Michael Gove accused Labour of having an “incredible and incoherent” policy on Brexit.

Lance Foreman, Brexit MEP, was more critical calling Emily Thornberry “to be both the most incompetent and dishonest woman in politics”.

Other MPs to join into the criticism included Tories Johnny Mercer and Jake Berry.

On the same programme, the Labour MP accused Boris Johnson of being “reckless” and a “liar”.

On Friday, Labour were among a group of opposition parties who agreed to reject Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s attempt to trigger a snap election for a second time when the vote comes back to the Commons next week.

Downing Street has tabled a motion under the Fixed-term Parliaments Act asking MPs to approve an early general election.

The parties have agreed to stop an election taking place until after a delay to Brexit has been secured.

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn and Emily Thornberry (REUTERS/Hannah McKay)

That though requires the support of two-thirds of MPs to pass – impossible without the backing of opposition parties.

Mr Johnson has said Britain will leave the European Union on October 31.

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