Emily Thornberry implied she wanted to use some potentially fruity language in reaction to Dominic Cummings’ allegations about the government’s handling of the Brexit deal but, with great restraint, held back.
Responding on Sky News this morning to allegations made by the former adviser that the government never intended to follow the Brexit deal to the letter and was happy to “ditch bits” the didn’t like” to force it through”, the shadow secretary for international trade paused before describing the state affairs as “shameful”.
It lead presenter Kay Burley to wonder if there was more on her mind.
“Britain has always had a reputation for being a country that upholds international law in fact frankly an awful lot of international law was written by British lawyers so for us to start playing fast and loose with other countries is shameful, I think we step down as a country, we don’t have the same international reputation if our word isn’t our bond.
“I think it’s appalling that people would even think of representing our country and signing up to an agreement knowing that they weren’t going to implement it.”
Burley replied: “You paused before you said shameful what word were you going to use?”
So Thornberry said: “I wasn’t going to use a word that you could probably broadcast on Sky!”
“In which case, I’m glad you didn’t,” Burley quipped back.
In a series of tweets, obviously, Cummings said the government signed the Brexit deal to resolve a “constitutional crisis”. Dismissing concerns about breaking international law, he added “states break it every week”.
He added “the idea it’s the epitome of morality is low grade student politics pushed by lawyers/officials to constrain politics they oppose” and claimed Boris Johnson didn’t even know what deal he was signing.
“He didn’t even know what the Customs Union was until November 2020,” he claimed.
But it seems clear that Thornberry does believe that maintaining the law is “the epitome of morality” and would like to give Cummings a rap on the knuckles – at least.
We just wonder what word she was going to use…