In an extraordinary outburst at an event at Chatham House last night Ms Thornberry said: “If past evidence of the last few months is anything to go on, it’s going to be a ‘blah, blah, blah’ divorce.”
And speaking of the Labour Party’s plan to formally back Brexit if their ‘six tests’ are met she added: “We have six tests, if you hold up blah blah blah to six tests it will probably pass it.”
The bizarre “blah blah blah” comments come in the midst of some of the most challenging international negotiations the country has faced for decades, perhaps since the end of the war – as the team led by Theresa May and David Davis lock horns with Michel Barnier and counterparts within the EU to secure the most positive Brexit result for Britain.
And Ms Thornberry’s comments immediately sparked further division in the Labour’s ranks.
Emily Thornberry said: ‘It’s going to be a ‘blah, blah, blah’ divorce’
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We have six tests, if you hold up blah blah blah to six tests it will probably pass it
Remainer and Labour’s former Business Secretary Chuka Umunna branded Ms Thornberry’s comments as “extraordinary and unacceptable”.
He said: “It is extraordinary and unacceptable that the shadow Foreign Secretary seems to be suggesting that some ‘blah blah’ from the Government will be enough to secure Labour’s support to write the Government a blank cheque for Brexit.
“It’s an old-fashioned idea but it is the job of the opposition to hold the Government to account and that is what our members expect to see rather than blasé chat about ‘blah blah’ on the most important issue facing the country.
“The public will rightly take a very dim view of the Labour frontbench joining arm in arm with the likes of Jacob Rees Mogg and other Brextremists to vote for a Brexit which will cost jobs, damage living standards and leave our public services with less investment.”
Chuka Umunna branded Ms Thornberry’s comments as ‘extraordinary and unacceptable’
John McDonnell claimed that Emily Thornberry was being ‘sarcastic’
After the “blah blah blah” outburst Ms Thornberry said that Labour WOULD “probably” vote in favour of the final Brexit deal, if certain Labour prescribed tests were met.
She even suggested the vote would in fact pass as it was unlikely to contain “any difficult decisions”.
The announcement is a boost for Theresa May as she travels across the UK today on a whistle-stop tour exactly one year before Britain withdraws from the European Union.
But Ms Thornberry predicted the Government would “continue to kick things down the road” and hoped for a general election in the meantime to give Labour the chance to take over.
She said: “The difficulty is going to be with the meaningful vote in October which we have secured, is that what is it that we are going to be agreeing on.
“We have six tests, if you hold up blah blah blah to six tests it will probably pass it.”
The Shadow Foreign Secretary’s added further confusion saying she thought there was no chance everything would have been negotiated by the time of the October vote.
Alastair Campbell, former Labour spin-doctor under Tony Blair, was also sceptical the Government’s deal will meet the tests set out by Labour.
He said, via Twitter: ”There is no way in the world the govt Brexit deal meets Labour’s six tests. If this is true it is a huge sellout and the tests were a con.”
Labour’s shadow chancellor John McDonnell has gone as far to claim that Emily Thornberry was being “sarcastic” when she was responding to journalists.
Speaking on Radio 4’s Today programme, Mr McDonnell said: “She was being sarcastic in Emily’s style. What was said very clearly and you have got it from me and Keir Starmer, you will get it from Jeremy as well as Emily. We have six tests at the moment those tests are nowhere near being met.
Theresa May at a local parent and toddler group in Newcastle during a tour of the UK
Before setting-off on today’s tour, Mrs May said: “Today, one year until the UK leaves the EU and begins to chart a new course in the world, I am visiting all four nations of the Union to hear from people across our country what Brexit means to them.
“I am determined that as we leave the EU, and in the years ahead, we will strengthen the bonds that unite us, because ours is the world’s most successful union.
“The UK contains four proud and historic nations, but together we amount to so much more than the sum of our parts and our Union is an enormous force for good.”
Optimistic about Britain’s final year in the EU she said: “I am determined that our future will be a bright one.
“It’s a future in which we trade freely with friends and partners across Europe and beyond.
“Having regained control of our laws, our borders and our money, and seized the opportunities provided by Brexit, the UK will thrive as a strong and united country that works for everyone, no matter whether you voted Leave or Remain.”