"The government put forward proposals that were designed to fail", says Keir Starmer
If the current Brexit headlines coursing across both the UK and the EU are to be believed, the prospect of a deal being settled between the two sides is more remote than ever, and as a result a blame-game culture is now emerging.
It appears that after three long years of battling at the negotiation table, nothing concrete has emerged as was exemplified by a reported phone conversation between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Boris Johnson last night.
The real sticking point seems once again to be the Northern Irish border and how this can be kept open to honour the Good Friday Agreement without the North remaining part of the Customs Union.
Of course the clock is ticking and as the final round of talks appear to be collapsing, there are those on both sides of the North Sea who believe this was the strategy that Dominic Cummings, the PM’s political adviser, was aiming for from the outset.
Labour’s Keir Starmer was certainly in no doubt when he spoke in the House of Commons yesterday.
In an angry and impassioned speech, Starmer was of the belief that the plans that the government put forward only six days ago, even though they had since September to come up with better possibilities, were never designed to work.
Accusing them of provoking the EU, with the lack of substance to their proposals, and the lack of engagement, the shadow Brexit Secretary was adamant that Johnson is trying to purposely collapse the negotiations.
His message was clear. He believes the government is blaming parliament, the opposition, the EU and Ireland and taking absolutely no responsibility for engineering this whole situation.
Of course, he also referred to The Benn Act, which Boris Johnson has also blamed for tying his hands at the negotiation table, but as the days roll by and the EU Summit on 17 October fast approaches, this will be the piece of legislation that will take Johnson into the final part of this epic tale and could well stop him in his tracks.