The leader of the opposition has described the government’s position on Brexit as ‘shambolic’, and compared it to Blackadder character Baldrick’s infamous ‘cunning plans’ at Prime Minister’s Questions.
In a week that has seen Theresa May told by EU counterparts that negotiations “will be hard” if Britain pushes for the ‘hard Brexit’ that many believe is likely, and Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon describe a meeting with Number 10 as “deeply frustrating”, the PM has once again come under fire today for failing to reveal the government’s plans for leaving the EU.
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said that he “looked to the great philosophers” when trying to understand the government position, but that the only one he could think of was Baldrick, “who said: ‘Our cunning plan, is to have no plan’”
— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) October 26, 2016
The reference to the titular character’s oafish sidekick in comedy series Blackadder, whose ‘cunning plans’ are often outlandish or result in his master’s humiliation, will strike home with many MPs, who feel that the government does not have a clear idea of how they will approach Brexit negotiations, or indeed what new deal they will aim to make with the EU.
Ironically, Tony Robinson, who played Baldrick, is a member of the Labour party, but has been an outspoken critic of Corbyn since his election as leader in 2015.
‘The best possible deal’
Robinson added his own comedic spin to today’s proceedings, tweeting “Baldrick means Baldrick” – a parody of the PM’s now infamous assertion that “Brexit means Brexit”, which has led many to speculate that she does not actually know what ‘Brexit’ will mean.
— Laura Kuenssberg (@bbclaurak) October 26, 2016
The PM’s response to Mr Corbyn will have done little to calm these reservations, felt by many on both sides of the chamber. Claiming that the government had “been very clear” on the subject, Mrs May repeated that her government is hoping to “get the best possible deal for Britain” from any negotiations, adding that she wants the UK to continue trading “with and within” the EU trading bloc, whilst “putting an end to freedom of movement” – something many EU leaders have openly stated will not be an option for the UK.