Corbyn to demand General Election if May loses Brexit vote – as shadow Brexit minister Starmer says second referendum may be ONLY way to avoid No Deal
- Labour appear to be trying to delay Brexit which is scheduled for March 29
- Labour’s Sir Keir Starmer said he doubted Brexit could be completed on time
- Leader of the party Jeremy Corbyn is expected to demand a general election
Labour appeared to be ready to push for a delay to Brexit tonight as Jeremy Corbyn demanded a general election and his Brexit spokesman is said to have advised him that a second referendum might be the only way to prevent no-deal.
Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer said earlier that he doubted whether the process of leaving could be completed by March 29 if MPs rejected Theresa May’s deal next week.
Sir Keir has now reportedly warned Corbyn that a second referendum might be the only way to prevent the government steering Britain on a crash course towards no-deal.
The Labour leader is expected to demand an election tomorrow, arguing that a government with a fresh mandate would be able to negotiate a better deal with the EU.
Labour appeared to be ready to push for a delay to Brexit last night as Jeremy Corbyn (pictured) demanded a general election
But if an election is held, it is likely that Article 50 – the process that enables a nation to leave the EU – would have to be extended to allow campaigning and time for new negotiations with Brussels.
Sir Keir admitted for the first time yesterday that extending Article 50 ‘may well be inevitable’.
Mr Corbyn’s call comes amid confusion about whether Labour will put forward a motion of no confidence next week after the expected Commons defeat of the Government’s deal. Barry Gardiner, Labour’s international trade spokesman, suggested that such a motion would be tabled immediately after a defeat on Tuesday.
But party sources said they were not saying when they would table it, merely stating it was a question of ‘when not if’. Sources also said Labour was not yet pressing for an extension to Article 50.
Sir Keir admitted for the first time yesterday that extending Article 50 ‘may well be inevitable’
Sir Keir told MPs: ‘I genuinely think leaving with no deal would be catastrophic. We can’t do it on 29 March. It’s not viable, for so many practical reasons. So we’re going to have to look at what are the available options realistically still on the table, and what are the merits of each.’
In a speech tomorrow, Mr Corbyn is expected to repeat his threat that Labour will vote down Theresa May’s Brexit deal on Tuesday, and challenge the Prime Minister to call a general election.
Mr Corbyn will say the real divide is not between Leave and Remain voters, but ‘between the many, who do the work, create the wealth and pay taxes, and the few, who set the rules, reap the rewards and so often dodge taxes’.
Mr Corbyn’s call comes amid confusion about whether Labour will put forward a motion of no confidence next week after the expected Commons defeat of the Government’s deal
He will add: ‘Let there be no doubt – Theresa May’s deal is a bad deal, and Labour will vote against it next week in parliament.
‘If the Government cannot pass its most important legislation, then there must be a general election at the earliest opportunity.
‘A government that cannot get its business through the House of Commons is no government at all. So I say to Theresa May, if you are so confident in your deal, call that election and let the people decide. To break the deadlock, an election is not only the most practical option, it is also the most democratic option.
‘It would give the winning party a renewed mandate to negotiate a better deal for Britain and secure support for it in Parliament and across the country.
‘For both sides, the EU referendum was about so much more than our relationship with our biggest trading partner and its rules. It was about what’s happened to our people over decades and how to build a better future.’