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What to make of Labour’s Brexit tests?

Following comments by Labour's Barry Gardiner that it is not possible to achieve the "exact same benefits" as part of a future UK-EU deal, Open Europe's Henry Newman assesses the politics of the Opposition's Brexit tests.

An exchange by the Shadow Trade Secretary on Question Time last week leaves a core strand of Labour’s Brexit policy in question.

I wrote previously about Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry’s comments that the Labour Party would vote yes to the “meaningful vote” on the Brexit deal in October (?) even if – as she expected – the Government brought back a “blah blah blah divorce”. Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer insisted that Labour’s six tests were serious, but since then a tape has emerged of Shadow Trade Secretary Barry Gardiner speaking at a meeting in Brussels. Much attention focused on Gardiner’s dismissal of the Good Friday Agreement as a Shibboleth, but Gardiner also called Labour’s tests“bollocks”, rather endorsing Thornberry’s earlier remarks. Last night Gardiner appeared on Question Time and was quizzed about his words.

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