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Make way for Labour, Corbyn warns PM

Government must admit it cannot get its Brexit deal past Parliament and should step aside, Labour leader says

JEREMY CORBYN told Theresa May to “make way” for a Labour government that would negotiate a better Brexit deal in a heated Commons exchange today.

The Labour leader challenged the PM to admit that the agreement she has cooked up with Brussels is never going to get through Parliament.

Mr Corbyn said: “Instead of giving confidence to the millions of people who voted both Leave and Remain, this half-baked deal fails to give any hope that can bring the country together again.

“Isn’t the case that Parliament will rightly reject this deal, this bad deal?

“And that if the government can’t negotiate an alternative, then it should make way for those who can and will?”

His sally came a day after John McDonnell said the Queen ought to ask Labour to form a government if the Ms May’s deal is rejected by MPs.

The shadow chancellor said that Britain’s political tradition allows the possibility for Labour to attempt to govern now that the Prime Minister can’t command a majority in the House of Commons.

Speaking to bankers at an event organised by Thompson Reuters Corporation today, he said: "If [the government] can't command a majority, usually it is then the duty of the monarch to offer to the opposition the chance to form a government, and that would be a minority government, to see whether they have a majority in Parliament.”

Mr McDonnell’s intervention comes as doubt grows from all sides over Ms May’s viability, following a bruising week which saw a stream of senior cabinet and parliamentary resignations.

The government was dealt a fresh blow earlier this week by DUP refusal to lend its vote to the Tories unless Ms May’s Brexit plan changed.

As the DUP declined to vote with the government, three Labour amendments to the Finance Bill, related to tax evasion, fixed-odds betting terminals, and gaming duty, all passed this afternoon.

Mr McDonnell said: "It’s absolutely staggering that the government has accepted all Labour amendments to the Finance Bill because it couldn’t rely upon the DUP’s support.

"The Tories are in office but not in power. We’re watching a government falling apart in front of us."

Mr McDonnell still backs Labour’s strategy, which is to force a general election that can properly negotiate a “jobs first” Brexit with European Union negotiators.

However, he now believes that the volatility created by the Tories means Mr Corbyn must be offered a chance to put Labour’s plans before Parliament, adding that he believed they would gain majority support. He also skewered Ms May over whether she agreed with new Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd’s comments that a no-deal Brexit could be prevented by parliament.

After the Prime Minister responded that the alternative to her deal would be “more uncertainty, more division or [no] Brexit at all,” Mr Corbyn criticised her for thinking that “taking back control” meant “to hand the EU a blank cheque.”


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