‘Simples’ - Theresa May channels a talking Russian meerkat at the Despatch Box

Prime Minister Theresa May updated MPs in the House of Commons, London, on the latest in the Brexit

Prime Minister Theresa May updated MPs in the House of Commons, London, on the latest in the Brexit negotiations. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday February 26, 2019. See PA story POLITICS Brexit. Photo credit should read: PA Wire - Credit: PA

Theresa May has proven how in touch she is with popular media by quoting the catchphrase of an insurance advert that has been on television for about a decade.

She was responding to a question from the SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford MP.

He said the prime minister 'could not be trusted' not to 'dodge' another meaningful vote.

He said: 'The 12th March is only 10 parliamentary days before Brexit - we have lost nine days when this issue could have been resolved.

'It's the height of irresponsibility for any government to threaten its citizens with these consequences.

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'Rule out no deal, extend Article 50 but do it today - this should not be left until the middle of March.'

Theresa May said that to end Brexit uncertainity he and his party should vote for her deal to avoid a no-deal Brexit.

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She said: 'We are in talks with the EU and we're talking about the issues this House required.

'If he wants to end the uncertainty and deal with the issues he raised... then he should vote for a deal.'

As she sat down she ended her reply with 'simples' - a quote made famous by a talking Russian meerkat on the Compare The Market adverts.

The comment attracted widespread ridicule on social media seconds as the Commons fell silent with confusion.

'Zany Theresa May has parliament in stitches after deploying the phrases 'Simples', 'Not!' and 'Whassssaaap!' during a Brexit debate', tweeted one.

'Ah, the two political genders, Karl Marx and *checks notes* a talking meerkat from an insurance advert,' said Dawn Foster.

MP Stewart MacDonald warned: 'When there are questions around Kremlin-led financing of various Leave campaign group's funding, I'm not sure channeling a fictional Russian meerkat is a clever form of trolling.'

A spokesperson for comparethemarket.com said: 'We welcome the prime minister's commitment to keeping life simples. Whilst we are not experts on her deal, we are preparing a new deal on energy bills which we will be putting to the people in the near future.'

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