Published On: Wed, May 9th, 2018

Moment Andrew Neil stuns Labour MP when he reads party's OWN manifesto back to her

Andrew Neil shut down the Labour MP as she suggested leading figures in Europe supported her party’s plans to create a new customs union with the bloc after

The British Government’s Brexit strategy includes the complete withdrawal from the customs arrangement in place with the – but Labour Remainers have called for a new customs deal to replace the existing one.

The BBC Daily Politics presenter stunned Ms Dodds as he reminded her Labour had also pledged to support withdrawal from the customs union: “Can I just say what the Labour manifesto on this: ‘It will scrap the Tories’ Brexit White paper.

“We’ll replace it with fresh negotiations that a strong emphasis on retaining the benefits of the single market and the customs union.’

“Not the membership but ‘the benefits’.”

Labour leader pledged to leave the customs union in search of a “bespoke” arrangement with Brussels once Britain leaves the bloc.

But shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry sparked confusion as she claimed Labour wanted to “remain in the customs union.”

Ms Dodds appeared to side with the Labour leader as she hit back at Mr Neil saying: “I haven’t at any point in this programme said labour committed itself to membership at all.

“We set out those six tests – Keir Starmer set them out – which are reflected in the manifesto and we will judge any deal by that.”

Shadow Brexit Secretary Starmer devised six tests the final agreement has to meet – widely regarded as a pretext to vote down the deal when it comes to the Commons later this year.

The tests include the impossible-sounding proviso that the final EU agreement must provide the “exact same benefits” as Britain’s current relationship with the bloc.

This week, Sir Keir said Labour would also try to rewrite the Government’s Brexit legislation to prevent the UK leaving the EU without a deal if Parliament rejects any agreement Theresa May strikes with Brussels.

The opposition hopes to build a coalition of peers and MPs to reject the “take it or leave it” approach on offer from ministers which would see a vote against the final agreement interpreted as a decision to back a “no deal” Brexit.

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