Corbyn slams May for ‘ploughing on’ with Brexit in ‘act of national self-harm’

Jeremy Corbyn today slammed Theresa May for "ploughing on" with her Brexit in an "act of national self-harm".

Labour’s leader blasted the Prime Minister after she dug in her heels with a two-week "campaign" to save her deal.

Despite being approved by the 27 EU leaders yesterday the deal faces a House of Commons defeat.

Yet Mrs May is refusing to drop the deal – saying it is the "only one possible" and MPs have a "duty" to back it.

The Prime Minister today said MPs would be judged by their constituents – hinting they could lose their seats.

And she said voting against the deal in mid-December would take Brexit "back to square one.".

But Mr Corbyn told MPs: "Under this government we’ve never got beyond square one."

He added: "Even the Prime Minister’s own Cabinet can’t bring themselves to sell this deal any more.

"The silence from much of the rest of the Cabinet is telling. They know these negotiations have failed and they know it will leave Britain worse off."

Labour’s leader said "the botched deal is a bad deal for this country" – pointing out research that claimed it will leave the nation £1,090 worse off per resident than staying in the EU.

Blasting the PM’s "profound weakness", he said it was "not in the national interest" to "plough on" without the support of MPs.

"Ploughing on is not stoic – it’s an act of national self-harm," he said.

Theresa May told the House of Commons that she had secured a Brexit deal which "delivers for the British people".

But the Prime Minister was loudly barracked by MPs as she insisted that no better deal was available.

Mrs May responded saying that the British people wanted control of "our borders, they want an end to free movement and this deal delivers it".

And despite claims she had "caved" to Spanish demands to have a greater say on Gibraltar, she told residents of the Rock: "We will always stand by you.

"Our position on sovereignty has not and will not change."

Mrs May also launched a coded slapdown against Emmanuel Macron after the French President threatened to trap the UK in EU customs rules – unless his fishermen get access to British waters.

She said: "It is no surprise some are already trying to lay down markers again for the future relationship, but they should be getting used to the answer by now: it is not going to happen."

The PM also defended her "backstop" that would extend EU customs rules across the UK if there is no deal for the Northern Ireland border.

"There is no deal that comes without a backstop," she said. "And without a backstop there is no deal."

She said neither the UK nor the EU could be "entirely happy" with the deal – and that was how it would always have been.

But Tory big beasts lined up to slam her plan.

Loyalist Michael Fallon, the ex-Defence Secretary, broke ranks to brand the deal a "huge gamble" and ask: "Is it really wise to trust the future of our economy to the EU’s best endeavours?"

Boris Johnson said the PM’s "frank admission" that it was "unsatisfactory" was a "bit of an understatement".

He said firms were being told the UK would effectively remain in the customs union and single market while the PM boasts of taking back control. "They can’t both be right. Which is it?" he said.

Ex-Brexit Secretary David Davis demanded she make the second half of the £39bn divorce payment "conditional on delivery".

Tory Brexiteer Mark Francois said she "knows the mathematics" and "this will never get through".

Meanwhile Lib Dem leader Vince Cable claimed he represents "the real opposition", because Jeremy Corbyn is a "fellow traveller" on Brexit.

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford accused the PM of a "sellout" on fisheries after Emmanuel Macron’s remarks.

And Brexit committee chair Hilary Benn made a wounding attack on the Prime Minister.

He said she had put off decisions until "a time when the EU will have much greater leverage" because a trade deal will be in the offing – with EU leaders having the power of veto.

And he asked incredulously how she could expect MPs to back it.

Source: Read Full Article