Europe

UK: Corbyn urges May to take 'no deal' off table

Labour Party leader says general election is way forward to break deadlock after rejection of Brexit deal with EU

17.01.2019
UK: Corbyn urges May to take 'no deal' off table

By Ahmet Gurhan Kartal

LONDON

Take the "no deal" option off the table, so we can start "serious talks” on Brexit, the leader of Britain’s main opposition party urged Prime Minister Theresa May on Thursday.

Speaking in Hastings, England, a day after the government narrowly secured parliament's confidence, Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said May had suffered the most devastating defeat in parliament on her centerpiece policy.

“It is the biggest defeat any government has suffered in history. Her deal is now dead,” he said.

He said May is “completely unable to grasp what actually happened."

“Theresa May has to ditch the red lines and get serious about proposals for the future,” Corbyn added.

Dismissing May’s meetings with representatives of different groups in parliament as a “stunt,” he accused May of trying to run out the clock in order to force MPs into backing her option when a no-deal Brexit becomes imminent.

May said late Wednesday that she has started constructive meetings with the representatives of opposition parties to find a way forward on Brexit.


2nd referendum

Underlining that the best solution for the country to break the deadlock is a general election, Corbyn also said a "people’s vote" could be an alternative.

He said if his party's alternative plans for Brexit, which will include a "permanent customs union," are blocked, his duty will be to look at other options, “including a second Brexit referendum.”

On Wednesday, and after Tuesday’s humiliating defeat in a vote on the EU Brexit agreement, May’s Brexit government survived a motion of no confidence with the backing of 325 MPs.

The DUP, the government’s de facto partner and Northern Ireland’s biggest party, also voted for May’s government, helping it survive the test.

The Labour Party, Scottish Nationalist Party and Liberal Democrats all voted against the government. The total number of MPs who had no confidence in the government was 306.

May said after the vote that she wants to start talks with the leaders of the opposition parties tonight about a way forward on Brexit.

However, Labour leader Corbyn said he has no intention of starting talks with May unless she rules out a no-deal Brexit.

The motion of no confidence was called by Corbyn in the wake of Tuesday’s historic 432-202 defeat.

British lawmakers will vote on the government’s Brexit Plan B on Jan. 29.

The U.K. is set to leave the EU on March 29.

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