Jeremy Corbyn hints at fresh bid to oust May if further Brexit defeat
Jeremy Corbyn has indicated in a Sky News interview that he is ready to launch a fresh attempt to oust Theresa May if her Brexit deal is rejected again.
The Labour leader told Sophy Ridge on Sunday it would be “appropriate” to table another confidence motion in the Government if it was voted down for a third time this week.
Mr Corbyn said it was “ridiculous” that the prime minister kept bring back a deal that had been “defeated comprehensively.
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“The government is apparently going to bring its proposals once again to Parliament this week. I suspect they will be defeated again.
“The whole process they are doing is running down the clock… I think at that point a confidence motion will be appropriate.”
His comments came as and International Trade Secretary Liam Fox and Chancellor Philip Hammond warned the vote on the deal could be pulled if there was not enough support for it after last week’s heavy defeat, risking a lengthy extension and the threat of no Brexit at all.
It reinforces Mrs May’s message to wavering MPs that if they fail to back her withdrawal agreement before Thursday’s European Council summit “we will not leave the EU for many months, if ever”.
One of those to change her mind is former work and pensions secretary Esther McVey who told Sky news she would now back “the bad deal”.
Ms McVey, who quit the government over the Brexit agreement, said: “The choice before us is this deal or no Brexit whatsoever and to not have Brexit would go against the democratic vote of the people.”
She said Brexiteers would have to “hold their nose” and vote for the deal.
Fellow Tory MP and member of the Brexiteer european research group (ERG) Daniel Kawczynski has also acknowledged that the Prime Minister’s deal was now the “only game in town”.
He told Sky News that Brexiteers had been “outgunned… and outmanoeuvred” by a remainer parliament and that they should “bank” what they have and focus on the next battle for the trade negotiations.
However, others including Conservative MP Andrea Jenkyns maintain the deal is “not good for Britain”, writing in a tweet: “We voted to be free, not subjugation.”
Mr Corbyn also indicated his party could back a backbench amendment calling for a referendum on a Brexit deal, although he would not set out which side he would be on in another vote.
Pressed if he would vote Remain in another referendum, Mr Corbyn told Sky News: “It depends what the choice is in front of us.
“If we have got a good deal in which we can have a dynamic relationship with Europe, which is all the trading relationship and so on, then that might be a good way forward that unites the country.”
Repeatedly challenged on whether he wanted to leave the EU Mr Corbyn said: “We want to have a relationship with the EU of the type I set out and people will have a choice on that.
“But there will be a credible choice in any referendum that Labour proposes.”
Meanwhile, Dr Fox told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge On Sunday: “I would say to my colleagues: all actions have consequences, and if you really want to deliver the Brexit we all promised… then we need to back the Prime Minister’s deal because there is no other deal on offer.”
He added: “If we had an extension with no agreement and this was just kicking into the long grass with the chance that Brexit might not happen at all, that would be very, very hard for most people to swallow.”
This was reinforced by Mr Hammond who said a vote on the Brexit deal would “not definitely” happen this week.
He told BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show: “We will only bring the deal back if we are confident that enough of our colleagues and the DUP are prepared to support is so that we can get it through Parliament.”
While some opponents of the deal had changed their view, he acknowledged the numbers were not there yet and it was a “work in progress”.
Mr Hammond said it was “absolutely vital” to get Mrs May’s deal through in the next week because “it’s the final chance to do this deal without having to have a long extension of the Article 50 period”.
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