- REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn tells Theresa May to cut short the Christmas break and let MPs vote on her Brexit deal “as soon as possible.”
MPs are set to vote on the British prime minister’s Brexit deal with the European Union on the week beginning January 14.
The vote was meant to happen on December 11 but May delayed it to avoid a huge defeat.
Corbyn says the vote must take place as soon as possible. “If that means recalling parliament to have the vote let’s have it,” he said.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has urged Theresa May to cut short UK Parliament’s Christmas break and hold the vote on her Brexit deal “as soon as possible.”
In an interview with The Independent and i newspaper, Corbyn said: “I want us to have a vote as soon as possible, that’s what I’ve been saying for the past two weeks, and if that means recalling parliament to have the vote let’s have it.”
Members of Parliament were originally scheduled to vote on the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement on December 11.
However, Prime Minister May was virtually guaranteed to see her deal voted down by MPs, potentially by a huge margin, so delayed the vote in order give the government more time to persuade MPs to support it.
The vote is now set to take place a month after the original date, on the week commencing January 14.
Corbyn said the delay was a “completely cynical manoeuvre to run down the clock and offer MPs the choice of the devil or the deep blue sea.”
The Labour leader was referring to the belief among some MPs that May is delaying the vote in order to leave as little time as possible in the Brexit process for MPs to pursue alternatives to her current agreement with the EU.
Downing Street has grown increasingly confident in recent weeks that the growing prospect of a disruptive and economically damaging no deal Brexit will convince MPs to back May’s deal despite their reservations with it.
A government source described Corbyn’s request as a “silly demand.” Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt insisted on Friday that MPs can be persuaded to back the deal, telling BBC Radio 4: “We can get this through.”
Anti-Brexit group Best For Britain supported the Labour leader’s demand.
The campaign’s CEO Eloise Todd said: “With the clock ticking on Brexit, the vote on the government’s deal needs to happen as soon as possible – not a day should be wasted.
“Parliament is likely to reject that deal, and the way out of that impasse for MPs and for the country is to do what most people now want and hand the decision back to the people.”
“Corbyn needs to listen to his own members, his own voters and the country on this and give the people the final say on Brexit.”
In the same interview, Corbyn reaffirmed his insistence that it’s a matter of time before if he will lodge an official vote of no confidence in the government, which he hopes will bring down May and trigger an early general election.
“We’ve made clear it’s a question of when, not if, we do a vote of no confidence in the government. Obviously, we do [it] at a time when their confidence is the lowest ever, which I suspect will be after they’ve lost the vote.”