Matt Hancock’s dogged determination to avoid questions about Brexit and the customs union on Thursday night’s Question Time left the audience in laughter – and even forced a smile from host David Dimbleby.
Despite insisting that he wanted to leave the customs union, the Culture Secretary refused to address whether remaining in it would be “in defiance of the 52% who voted to leave the EU”.
“Brexit is leaving the EU,” Hancock said in an attempt to side-step the question.
“But is it leaving the customs union?” asked a clearly frustrated Dimbleby.
“You know that’s what is being argued in Parliament, argued today in Parliament, argued in the Cabinet. Is leaving the customs union leaving the EU or not?”
Yesterday, Home Secretary Amber Rudd claimed the government was “still working” on its position whether the UK will remain in the customs union post-Brexit - despite Theresa May’s vow to leave it.
It was Hancock’s third attempt to dodge the debate which finally broke Dimbleby’s serious demeanour.
“The reason I’m answering the question in my way,” Hancock began.
“That’s your way of saying you’re not answering the question,” Dimbleby interrupted with a wry grin.