Ms Butler said the Tories’ position on Brexit is unclear and that it is creating uncertainty, meaning businesses will leave the UK.
She turned to her fellow panellist, Conservative Work and Pensions Secretary David Gauke, and said that the Tories needed to “take a leaf out of Labour’s book and talk about transitional arrangements”.
To this, the audience chortled before Question Time presenter David Dimbleby retorted: “But Dawn, there’s some confusion about what Labour’s policy is, isn’t there?”
The audience then erupted into applause and laughter, but Ms Butler shook her head defiantly and said “no, no, there is actually no confusion”, to which the audience laughed even more.
Ms Butler continued: “I’ll clear it up. We’ve been very clear from the start. We’ve said what we want is a jobs Brexit.
“We want a Brexit that’s good for the country. We have decided we want to be in the Single Market and the Customs Union as part of a transitional period for as short as necessary, but as for as long as possible.
“It is a very clear and sensible position to be in.”
Conservative MP David Gauke chuckled and said: “When Dawn says we need to take a leaf out of Labour’s book, they have a whole library of books on their position.
“We’ve got 40 years of accumulated laws that have come from the EU that we need to adjust. The whole point about the EU Withdrawal Bill is to implement it as part of UK law, but to do that is a huge task.
“Now Labour has accepted that we are leaving the EU, but they are trying to stop us from transposing all of the European law into UK law.
“The only way to do that is through the EU withdrawal Bill. That will require the use of delegated legislation that Parliament still scrutinises and can overrule.
“Labour’s approach will put us in a really dangerous position.”
Ms Butler interrupted this by saying “it is not true, it is a lie”.
The heated debate comes as Ronnie Campbell, Frank Field, Kate Hoey, Kelvin Hopkins, John Mann, Dennis Skinner and Graham Stringer defied their own party whip to back the Withdrawal Bill, which will allow EU law to be passed into UK common law.
The move is another embarrassing setback for Jeremy Corbyn who had instructed his politicians to impose the Brexit Bill amid fears that “Henry…