Brexit debate descends into farce as MPs discuss story of Lassie

PUBLISHED: 15:28 11 January 2019 | UPDATED: 15:48 11 January 2019

Jeremy Hunt discusses Lassie in the House of Commons. Photograph: Parliament TV.

Jeremy Hunt discusses Lassie in the House of Commons. Photograph: Parliament TV.


The closure of the third day of debate on Brexit descended into a farce as both the foreign secretary and shadow foreign secretary debated analogies of the children's film Lassie.

Emily Thornberry mocked the Tory post-Brexit vision for the UK as the “invisible chain” linking countries across the globe.

The Labour MP for Islington South and Finsbury said foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt had not realised The Invisible Chain was also the Spanish title for the film Lassie Come Home.

MORE: Jeremy Hunt says ‘no Brexit’ is now more likely than ‘no deal’

To laughter, she added: “It’s no wonder the foreign secretary’s vision of the invisible chain has been so enthusiastically embraced by his dog-loving cabinet colleagues.

“The health secretary with his invisible green paper on social care, the transport secretary with his invisible ferries and his invisible traffic jams, and of course the prime minister running around Europe obtaining invisible concessions on Brexit.”

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Hunt closed the debate by saying that Lassie was one of his “favourite childhood films”.

He said: “Lassie of course in that story was given to a member of the aristocracy, in fact the Duke of Rudling, but Lassie wasn’t happy and she broke free without any kind of referendum and she came home, there is a lesson for all of us.”

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