While Nigel Farage often extolled the virtues of a Norway-style relationship with the EU in the run-up to the referendum, his stance has somewhat hardened since.
Nowadays he is more likely to be found calling any soft Brexit “a betrayal” and advocating strongly for no-deal, a position that embattled Tory leadership candidates now seem forced to accept, if not condone.
After his new Brexit Party stormed to victory in the EU elections across England and Wales, Mr Farage told reporters:
What we’re saying is we’ve got a mandate now, we demand to be part of that negotiating team, to get this country ready to leave whatever the circumstances.
Which, given the EU have said they are not prepared to renegotiate the UK's current deal, essentially translates to no-deal.
Brexit Party MEP Alexandra Phillips appeared on Question Time last night and attacked the “hard and soft Brexit dichotomy” as “a false construction ever since the result”.
Ms Phillips, echoing her party leader’s regular comments, said:
Out means out of the institutions and out from under its jurisdiction. The hard and soft Brexit dichotomy is a false construction ever since that result.
However, Labour’s Barry Gardiner was on hand to point out some flaws in her argument.
Mr Gardiner began by stating that Norway’s membership of the single market and Turkey’s shared customs union are clear evidence that it’s quite possible to be out of the EU and be a part of its institutions.
"People like you have actually said: ‘What you voted for when you voted to leave the EU was no-deal’, when in actual fact at the time, what people were told was they would be leaving the European Union," he continued.
“Which means leaving the two treaties of the EU, not having a seat on the council, not having the commissioner and not sending people like yourself, members of the European Parliament, to the European Parliament.
That is what leaving the EU actually means. You have tried to persuade, and I think successfully, many, many people, that it means what you want it to.
People were quick to share their thoughts, with one Twitter user comparing Mr Gardiner's clinical argument to "watching someone get mugged by a care bear".
Credit where it's due. Well done Barry Gardiner!
He just completely undid the entire mandate of the Brexit Party ME… https://t.co/0MmV8QZUcb