Baldrick 'ready to serve' if Tories need help with 'cunning plan' for Brexit


Theresa May has been offered assistance from Baldrick after her Brexit plan was likened to the schemes devised by Blackadder's hapless sidekick.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn mocked the Prime Minister by insisting Baldrick is the only "great philosopher" he could think of when assessing the Government's EU exit strategy.

Mrs May hit back by suggesting Sir Tony Robinson, the actor who played the character in the BBC television series, was no longer a member of the Labour Party.

Following the exchanges at Prime Minister's Questions, Sir Tony ridiculed Mrs May's "Brexit means Brexit" slogan by tweeting: "Baldrick means Baldrick."

He also wrote on Twitter: "Haven't left (Labour), active member for 40 yrs. But if (Brexit Secretary) David Davis needs any help with Brexit Baldrick stands ready to serve."

Baldrick was known for his regular suggestions of a "cunning plan" - which would often be anything but.

Speaking during PMQs, Mr Corbyn said to Mrs May: "On Monday, you told the House, 'We have a plan which is not to set out at every stage of the negotiations the details'.

"I've been thinking about this for a couple of days."

Tory MPs heckled Mr Corbyn, who added: "I think when you're searching for the real meaning and the importance behind the Prime Minister's statement, you have to consult the great philosophers."

After a further delay due to shouts from Tory MPs, Mr Corbyn said: "The only one I could come up with is Baldrick, who says, 'Our cunning plan is to have no plan'.

"Brexit was apparently about taking back control but the devolved governments don't know the plan, businesses don't know the plan, Parliament doesn't know the plan.

"When will the Prime Minister abandon this shambolic Tory Brexit and develop a plan that delivers for the whole country?"

To laughter from her MPs, Mrs May told Mr Corbyn: "I'm interested that you chose Baldrick. Of course, the actor playing Baldrick was a member of the Labour Party, as I recall."

The PM went on: "I'll tell you what we're going to deliver: we're going to deliver on the vote of the British people, we're going to deliver the best possible deal for trade in goods and services with and operation within the European Union, and we're going to deliver an end to free movement.

"That's what the British people want and that's what this Government is going to deliver for them."

Earlier, Mr Corbyn joked that he feared Mrs May would say "Brexit means Brexit" again before insisting it would be helpful for the PM to provide clarity over the Northern Ireland border.

He asked: "Will we continue membership of the customs union or are we going to see border checks introduced between Northern Ireland and the Republic?"

Mrs May replied: "You try to poke fun at the phrase 'Brexit means Brexit' but the whole point is this - it's this Government that's listening to the voice of the British people.

"Brexit means Brexit, that means we're coming out of the European Union.

"What you try to be doing is frustrating the will of the British people by saying that Brexit means something completely different."

On the issue of the Northern Ireland border, Mrs May said work is continuing.

She told MPs: "We've been very clear, the Government of the Republic of Ireland has been very clear, the Northern Ireland Executive has been very clear - that none of us want to see a return to the borders of the past.

"I'd simply remind (Mr Corbyn) that the common travel area has been in place since 1923, which was well before either of us joined the European Union."