Presenter Matt Frei accused Alison McGovern, a supporter of the Open Britain organisation, which is campaigning against a ‘hard’ Brexit, of taking a year to take a position on the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union.
Jeremy Corbyn has said single market membership is “open for discussion” despite Labour Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer signalling the party could seek to stay in the EU market.
Speaking on Channel 4 News, Mr Frei said: “There’s confusion on both sides and we’ll get to Labour’s confusion in a minute.
“It’s taken the Labour party a year to decide whether you want to be in the single market and the customs union in a transition period.
“We don’t even know how long that transition should last.”
Trying to defend her position, Ms McGovern said Britain should do its utmost to protect jobs and its citizens’ rights.
She said: “It didn’t take me a year. The fact is Keir Starmer has moved our position towards remaining in the single market and the customs union.
“He said we should have that for the transitional period, which should be an extended period of time, to protect employment in our country.
“I would like us to go further and say that actually that ought to be the destination, that we ought to, even as we leave the European Union, remain part of the European family of trading nations because that protects the jobs and the rights of constituents.”
But Mr Frei was not finished and suggested if she had her way there would be no point to Brexit.
He said: “But what is the point of staying in the single market, staying in the customs union, paying into EU coffers but not having any voting rights?
“Then you might as well say, what was the point of Brexit in the first place?”
And he said that it was “open for discussion” whether this should involve actual membership of the single market or some sort of special trading relationship.
The comments made during a BBC Radio 4 World at One interview last week come after Sir Keir announced in August that Labour favoured continued membership of the single market and customs union during a transition period lasting as long as four years after the formal Brexit date of March 2019.
Labour’s deputy leader Tom Watson said Sir Keir’s transition deal announcement was indicative of the party’s soft approach to Brexit, further…