Corbyn calls for general election if May loses Brexit vote

The UK opposition leader has demanded that a general election is needed if Theresa May cannot get her Brexit deal ratified by parliament next week to ‘break deadlock’.

UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn Source: Bloomberg

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is calling for a general election ‘at the earliest opportunity’, so that the Brexit ‘deadlock’ can be broken, during a speech in Northern Ireland on Thursday.

He believes that a new government, with a fresh mandate, should be given the opportunity to go back to Brussels and thrash out new deal with Brussels for Britain’s departure from the EU.

‘Let the people decide’

Despite calls from pro-EU campaigners both in and out of his party for Corbyn to back a second referendum, the Labour leader has remained tight-lipped on the issue, with him pushing hard for a general election to be held if May’s Brexit deal is rejected by MPs next week.

In his speech on Thursday Corbyn told goaded May, saying: ‘If you are so confident in your deal, call that election, and let the people decide.’

But Conservative MPs were quick to point out that Corbyn and his party would not be able to negotiate a better deal with Brussels, labelling him as simply ‘playing politics’.

Corbyn considers Article 50 extension

With the Brexit deadline on March 29 approaching fast it leaves little time for drafting a plan B, but Labour is set to vote down May’s deal next Tuesday, with Corbyn using its failure to trigger a no confidence vote in the government.

If a no confidence vote goes ahead and a majority of MPs back the motion, May’s government will have just 14 days to convince parliament to support it, but if it fails a general election will be held as soon as possible.

‘Clearly, Labour does not have enough MPs in parliament to win a confidence vote on its own,’ Corbyn said. ‘So members across the House should vote with us to break the deadlock.’

The Labour leader also backs an extension of the Article 50 process, which would delay Brexit, giving any new government formed in the event of a general election more time to renegotiate a new deal with the EU.

‘Moving into office at a period right up against the clock, there would need to be time for that negotiation,’ he said.

‘An extension would be a possibility, because clearly there has to be time to negotiate,’ he added.

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