Jeremy Corbyn used a popular British sitcom to attack Theresa May over her "dithering" plans to split from the EU on Wednesday (26 October).

The Labour leader said the government's pronouncements were worthy of hapless Blackadder character Baldrick, whose catchphrase is "I have a cunning plan".

"You told the House: 'We have a plan which is not to set out at every stage of the negotiations the details'. I've been thinking about this for a couple of days," Corbyn said.

"I think when you're searching for the real meaning and the importance behind the prime minister's statement, you have to consult the great philosophers..."

After pausing for a second as Conservative MPs shouted " [Karl] Marx" at the left-winger, he quipped: "The only one I could come up with is Baldrick, who says: 'Our cunning plan is to have no plan'."

"Brexit was apparently about taking back control. But the devolved governments don't know the plan, businesses don't know the plan and parliament doesn't know the plan.

"When will the prime minister abandon this shambolic Tory Brexit and develop a plan that delivers for the whole country?"

May hit back by pointing out that Tony Robinson, who played the Baldrick character between 1983 and 2000, is a Labour member –a fact Robinson later confirmed.

"I'll tell the Right Honourable Member what we are going to deliver," May said. "We are going to deliver on the vote of the British people, we are going to deliver the best possible deal for trade in goods and services both with and operating in the EU and we're going to deliver an end to free movement."

May has promised to trigger Article 50, the official mechanism to split from the EU, by March 2017. But her government faces a challenge in England's High Court other whether ministers have the authority to make such a move without a parliamentary vote.

Labour's shadow Brexit secretary has warned the UK will regain sovereignty for just a "millisecond" when the country splits from Brussels. "When you sign a treaty you have – for the common good – given back again that bit of your sovereignty," said Sir Keir Starmer.

"The sovereignty that we gain will be for a millisecond between the signature that ends the major treaty and the signatures that enter the new treaties."