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JEREMY CORBYN accused Theresa May today of “recklessly running down the clock” in threatening to leave the European Union without a deal in order to force MPs to vote for her unpopular Brexit plans.
During Prime Minister’s Questions, the Labour leader said that Ms May was making a “shameful attempt to make her own bad deal look like the lesser of two evils.”
He added that she is enabling a “criminal waste of money” in spending £4 billion in a “cynical attempt to drive her deeply damaging deal through this House.”
The PM urged Mr Corbyn to vote for her deal if he did not want this money squandered.
With his tongue firmly in his cheek, Mr Corbyn also called on her to state when the European Council will meet to approve the promised changes to her Brexit deal that “it has already ruled out.”
He accused Ms May of having “plunged this country into a national crisis” by saying she would seek assurances from EU leaders over MPs’ concerns over the Irish border backstop but failing to do so.
The PM replied: “We are indeed still working with the European Union, we have discussions with the European Union to seek those assurances that this House wanted us to seek.”
She insisted that a “meaningful vote” for MPs on her Brexit deal would take place in January — a vague date that has been slammed for being too close to the EU withdrawal date of March 29 2019.
He replied: “We should have had the vote a week ago … this is an intolerable situation and she is simply playing for time.”
Ms May said that Mr Corbyn should “accept his responsibility for delivering on Brexit,” to which he retorted: “It is the Prime Minister who is supposed to be undertaking the negotiations.
“If she does not like doing it, then step aside and let somebody else do it. The reality is that she is stalling for time.”
The exchanges followed a European Commission announcement that it has triggered an action plan to protect EU citizens and businesses from “major disruption” if Britain leaves the EU without a deal.
The previous day, Ms May’s Cabinet agreed to implement in full its own preparations for a possible no-deal.
Before PMQs, shadow cabinet office minister Jon Trickett accused the government of being in an “advanced state of decay” and putting some functions into “deep freeze” while it struggles over Brexit.
Cabinet Office Minister David Lidington denied this was the case.
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