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May must stop avoiding a meaningful vote on her Brexit deal, Corbyn tells MPs

JEREMY CORBYN told MPs today that there can be “no more running away” from the meaningful vote on Brexit with less than three months to go until we exit the EU on March 29.

The Labour leader accused absent Prime Minister Theresa May of “hiding” from the reality of the Commons consensus that her current Withdrawal Agreement with the European Union was a bad plan, and demanded that she gives a “cast-iron promise” that she will not delay the MPs’ vote on it again.

Speaking during an urgent question, he said: “This issue will define Britain’s future and should not be decided by the internal machinations of the Conservative Party.

“This House and this country deserve much better.”

He added: “She achieved nothing at the December summit and now surely she has plenty to update us on?

“And, whilst I’m delighted to see the Brexit Secretary here, it’s the Prime Minister who should be here to answer these questions.”

The opposition leader also criticised “shambolic” no-deal Brexit preparations and mocked Transport Secretary Chris Grayling’s  decision to award a post-Brexit shipping contract to a company with no ships.

He went on: “Even today we see the farce of lorries being lined up to stage a fake traffic jam in Kent to pretend to the EU that the government is ready for no deal.”

The government’s no-deal Brexit lorry test – called Operation Brock – was branded pointless after fewer than 100 lorries turned up to descend on Manston Airport near Ramsgate and travel to Dover.

  • Remain supporters also pressed Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford today to back a second referendum, though a majority of Welsh voters backed Leave in 2016.
    A group of Welsh AMs, MPs, MEPs and council leaders wrote an open letter to Mr Drakeford saying the country should be made to vote again.
    It was backed by Labour MPs Stephen Doughty and Owen Smith, though the latter's Pontypridd constituency voted to leave the EU, as well as all four Plaid Cymru MPs and five regional council leaders.
    Mr Drakeford has not ruled out support for another EU vote but says Labour should prioritise fighting for a general election. During his leadership campaign last year, he warned that there was "nothing courageous" about calling for a second referendum and said Remain supporters should be wary of patronising Leave voters.

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