Jeremy Corbyn calls on rebel Tories to bring down the Government as he pushes for General Election

Andy Wells
Freelance Writer

Jeremy Corbyn has urged Tory rebels to help him bring down the Government.

He called on rebels to support a no-confidence vote and force a General Election if Theresa May loses the vote on her Brexit deal, as he admitted Labour cannot do it alone.

Speaking in Wakefield, an area that supported Leave in the EU Referendum, the Labour leader confirmed the party would vote against Mrs May’s deal in the Commons next week.

He said if Labour were to take power in an election, he would try and delay Brexit in order to negotiate a new Brexit deal.

Labour would campaign on a platform of trying to secure a Brexit deal involving a customs union, a single market relationship and a guarantee to keep pace with EU rights and standards, said Mr Corbyn, conceding that this would take ‘time’ and would likely involve pushing back the Article 50 deadline.

The UK cannot delay Brexit without the agreement of the EU27.

 

 

Jeremy Corbyn has urged Tory rebels to help Labour bring down the Government (PA)

Mr Corbyn stopped short of vowing to table a motion of no confidence straight away, instead saying he would do it when it has ‘the best chance of success’.

He said: “Let there be no doubt. Theresa May’s deal is a bad deal for our country and Labour will vote against it next week in Parliament.

“I say to Theresa May: if you are so confident in your deal, then call that election and let the people decide.

“If not, Labour will table a motion of no confidence in the Government at the moment we judge it to have the best chance of success.”

Sending a message to Tory rebels, Mr Corbyn added: “Clearly, Labour does not have enough MPs in parliament to win a confidence vote on its own.

“So, members across the House should vote with us to break the deadlock.

“This paralysis cannot continue. Uncertainty is putting people’s jobs and livelihoods at risk.”

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Despite calls from many in his own party for a second referendum, Mr Corbyn has been hesitant to back it outright.

Instead he said that the option of campaigning for a public vote would be ‘on the table’.

The opposition leader insisted there was ‘no split’ between himself and shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer on extending the two-year process of negotiating withdrawal under Article 50 of the EU treaties.

Theresa May is reportedly under pressure from Brexiteers to call an election in April (Getty)

Conservative Party chairman Brandon Lewis said Labour was trying to ‘frustrate the decision of the British people and rerun the referendum’.

He added: “While they play politics, we will act in the national interest – delivering on the referendum decision with the right Brexit deal and building a country that works for everyone.

“After nearly two years of long and complex negotiations, Labour would take us back to square one.”

Labour frontbenchers watch as Mr Corbyn made his speech in Wakefield (PA)

Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesman Tom Brake said: “If Corbyn really wants to know what the public thinks of Theresa May’s Brexit deal, he should support a People’s Vote.

“It is shameful that Corbyn continues to sit on the fence on the biggest issue this country has faced since the Second World War. He is failing to provide proper opposition to this shambolic Conservative Government.”