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LABOUR will test the waters every day after PM Theresa May returns from further EU “negotiations” on Monday to gauge when to effectively table a motion for a no-confidence vote in the government, shadow chancellor has John McDonnell said.
This follows Ms May’s survival of a confidence vote on Wednesday that was brought by rebel Tory MPs the day after she cancelled the Commons vote on her widely unpopular Brexit deal.
Mr McDonnell hinted that a no-confidence vote could be triggered as soon as next week.
When asked by Bloomberg Television how close Labour was to bringing a confidence vote, he said: “We will see what happens over the weekend in the EU negotiations and expect the Prime Minister will come back on Monday with a statement to Parliament.
“We will judge then based on the content of that statement and see where we will go from there … anything can happen, we will judge it day by day.”
He confirmed that opposition parties “right across the House” are “in dialogue” about tabling a motion and doing so would be dependent on the number of MPs likely to be on their side.
When asked whether there were any other glaring issues other than the Irish border backstop, he pointed out that Ms May’s deal does not offer long-term protections for employment, consumer and environment rights – and said that another public vote on Brexit should be considered if these are left out by Ms May.
On BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Mr McDonnell was asked whether Labour would respond to Ms May’s call for politicians from all sides to “come together" and deliver Brexit.
He said: “The easiest thing for any opposition to do in these circumstances is to warm your hands as the Conservatives self-immolate.
“But you can’t do that, not when the issues are so big for the future of the country.
“You can’t play party politics with this, you’ve got to try to do your best to get a deal which will protect jobs and the economy. That’s got to be a two-way process and it hasn’t been until now.”
While the Tory infighting continued, Ms May arrived in Brussels yesterday for a European Council summit where she confirmed that she will not lead the Conservatives into the next general election.
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