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STEPHEN GLOVER: Corbyn’s cynical treachery is sure to backfire 

Theresa May’s devastating defeat may not turn out to be the boon for Labour that many commentators expect. 

In fact, I believe Jeremy Corbyn’s dishonest and unscrupulous behaviour in the months leading up to the vote will be judged by many voters to have been morally despicable and politically inept.

Labour will stage a motion of no confidence today in Mrs May. It is likely it will lose this Commons vote since both the Democratic Unionist Party and the Tories’ hard-line Brexiteers have indicated that they will support the Government.

If this happens, Labour will find itself as far as ever from the general election it has been straining every sinew to bring about. 

The target on which the party has aimed every calculation could well be kicked into the long grass for the foreseeable future.

Theresa May’s devastating defeat may not turn out to be the boon for Labour that many commentators expect. In fact, I believe Jeremy Corbyn’s dishonest and unscrupulous behaviour in the months leading up to the vote will be judged by many voters to have been morally despicable and politically inept 

Of course, no one should rule out the possibility of Corbyn still becoming the least qualified – and the most lethal – occupant of No 10 in our history. But such an outcome is still far from certain.

Once it becomes clear he won’t get the instant election for which he has yearned, Corbyn will come under enormous pressure from his Europhile backbenchers, as well as the wider party, which is overwhelmingly anti-Brexit, to support a second referendum – or some other device designed to delay and ultimately scupper this country’s withdrawal from the EU.

The irony of all this is that the Labour leader is a life-long Eurosceptic and, I believe, a furtive Brexiteer, who in his heart will not relish what would be the most likely result of a so-called People’s Vote – namely our remaining in the EU after a skewed campaign in which Project Fear is resuscitated on an epic scale.

 Labour will stage a motion of no confidence today in Mrs May. It is likely it will lose this Commons vote since both the Democratic Unionist Party and the Tories’ hard-line Brexiteers have indicated that they will support the Government

 Labour will stage a motion of no confidence today in Mrs May. It is likely it will lose this Commons vote since both the Democratic Unionist Party and the Tories’ hard-line Brexiteers have indicated that they will support the Government

To be fair to Corbyn, he has nursed some limited concern for the millions of Labour voters, especially in northern cities and towns, who voted Brexit. 

But these people will now be left high and dry if Labour embraces a second vote. Some, perhaps many, will never forgive the party if another referendum leads to Britain staying in the EU.

Why is Corbyn hurtling along a path he never wanted to take?

Weakness and lack of political nous are a partial explanation.

Many Labour MPs have been unable to accept the referendum result. Sir Keir Starmer, the Shadow Brexit Secretary, is much more Europhile than his boss. 

Corbyn, never the most acute of brains, has sometimes found himself dominated by sharper anti-Brexit minds on his own benches.

But the main reason for his predicament is his breathtaking lack of principle – despite his wish to be seen as a straight dealer.

The fact is that he’s been prepared to sacrifice every consideration in order to precipitate a general election, one which he and his terrifying sidekick John McDonnell hope will unleash their socialist utopia on the British people.

This Labour leadership has consistently placed party before country.

Whereas some previous Labour leaders put country first – Clement Attlee’s decision to join Winston Churchill’s wartime coalition in May 1940 being the most obvious example – Corbyn and his senior colleagues have refused to play a constructive role. At a moment of national crisis, and in the months leading up to it, they have shown just how unfit they are for high office.

Consider what they could have done. First, Labour’s so-called six tests were designed to be unachievable. 

The insistence that a final Brexit deal should include the ‘exact same benefits as we currently have as members of the single market and customs union’ could never be acceptable to the EU in a month of Sundays.

It was pie in the sky – and deliberately so. And yet Jeremy Corbyn has had the nerve to criticise Mrs May for being impractical and unrealistic in her approach to negotiations with Brussels.

Labour will stage a motion of no confidence today in Mrs May. It is likely it will lose this Commons vote since both the Democratic Unionist Party and the Tories’ hard-line Brexiteers have indicated that they will support the Government 

Labour will stage a motion of no confidence today in Mrs May. It is likely it will lose this Commons vote since both the Democratic Unionist Party and the Tories’ hard-line Brexiteers have indicated that they will support the Government 

Despite this, the party’s stand on Brexit, insofar as it is intelligible, has some features in common with Mrs May’s deal. Like her, Corbyn has argued for access to the single market. 

Admittedly, there’s been a difference of opinion about the customs union – Labour wants membership while the Prime Minister does not – but both party hierarchies share an antipathy to No Deal.

If Labour had offered Mrs May even a sliver of guarded help or encouragement in recent months, she would have been much stronger in her negotiations in Brussels.

As it was, Corbyn’s refusal to assist Mrs May, for reasons of low political calculation, strengthened the hand of officials in Brussels. 

They realised they were dealing with a Government with which an Opposition prepared to sell Brexit short was at loggerheads. They doubtless hoped that at some stage Labour would grab hold of the negotiating process.

Will it? Assuming that there is no immediate election, it seems likely that the Labour front bench will make common cause with cross-party backbenchers, who will attempt to throttle what remains of Mrs May’s obliterated deal, and substitute a second referendum, or somehow water down Brexit.

And it is a racing certainty that in this endeavour, Corbyn will have the continued assistance of the Commons Speaker. 

John Bercow is a staunch Remainer who rescued the Labour leader last month after he had been seen to mouth the words ‘stupid woman’ at Theresa May. Corbyn then allegedly said to him: ‘Thank you for all you have done.’

Labour is joyous at the scale of Theresa May’s defeat. Corbyn will claim today in the Commons that she has lost all authority, and that Labour stands fit and ready to govern.

I don’t believe it does. And I also think that many people will conclude that, whatever her faults, the Prime Minister does at least have principles. She has stuck to her guns with guts and resilience, and fought for what she believes.

By contrast, on Brexit as on much else, Jeremy Corbyn has shown himself indecisive, treacherous and dishonourable, and only too eager to put his and his party’s interests before those of the country.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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