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Gleeful Corbyn claims May's 'botched' Brexit deal is so bad she should not even put it to a vote as he demands a snap election to install him in No 10

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 15/11/2018 TIM SCULTHORPE, DEPUTY POLITICAL EDITOR
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Video: Jeremy Corbyn attacks May's Brexit plan (Sky News)

A gleeful Jeremy Corbyn seized on Theresa May's 'botched' Brexit deal today to claim it was so bad it would never pass the Commons and demand a snap election.

The Labour Leader wants a new election that could install him in No 10 so he can reopen the negotiations with Brussels on his own version of Brexit.

Mr Corbyn said the deal was a 'huge and damaging failure' that would leave the country in a 'half way house'. Without Labour votes and with Brexiteers on her own side furious and quitting the Government, Mrs May's deal looks dead on arrival.

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More on this story:

Flurry of resignations: Follow live reaction (Evening Standard)

This could spell end for May's Brexit plan (Guardian)

Parliament should reject 'rotten deal' (FT)

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Labour sources have insisted to MailOnline the party is ready to fight an election 'tomorrow'.

Mr Corbyn told MPs: 'The Government is in chaos. Their deal risks leaving the country in an indefinite halfway house without a real say.

'When even the last Brexit Secretary, who theoretically at least negotiated the deal, says ''I cannot support the proposed deal'', what faith does that give anyone else in this place or in this country?

'The Government simply cannot put to Parliament this half-baked deal that both the Brexit Secretary and his predecessor have rejected.

PM Theresa May leaves 10 Downing Street for the House of Commons © Reuters PM Theresa May leaves 10 Downing Street for the House of Commons

'No deal is not a real option and the Government has not seriously prepared for it.' 

He said last night the deal failed to deal properly with the Irish border and did not provide the permanent UK-EU customs union Labour say is essential for the economy.

In response to Mr Raab's resignation, shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer tweeted: 'This is now an incredibly serious situation. The Prime Minister's Brexit deal has fallen at the first hurdle.

'When Theresa May makes her statement to Parliament this morning she can't stand up and say 'nothing has changed'. She needs to urgently to rethink her approach.'

After meeting with the Prime Minister last night, Mr Corbyn said: 'If the Prime Minister cannot get this agreement through Parliament, and I very much doubt she can, then she has either got to go back to the European Union and say 'we're going to have to negotiate something more in keeping with the wishes of MPs on behalf of the electorate, or resign and have a General Election so that the people of this country can decide who they want to be in government.'

Mr Corbyn insisted hew could negotiate a better deal because Labour would not be designing its position based on getting a 'sweetheart' deal with Donald Trump's US. He said: 'We're in a position where we want to see an expanding, investment-led growing economy with greater equality and opportunity for people all over this country, not one where we threaten to reduce standards and living conditions, not one where we constantly act as though we are at war with somebody else.'

Jeremy Corbyn addresses the House of Commons © PA Jeremy Corbyn addresses the House of Commons

Mr Corbyn is resisting pressure from his own party members to call a second EU referendum - insisting an election that installs him in No 10 is more important. At an event hosted by the Mirror last night he insisted it was 'not a priority' and putting him at odds with former party leaders including Tony Blair. Downing Street is hopeful that a number of his MPs will defy him and support the Prime Minister, reasoning that a no-deal Brexit, which they fear could bring about an economic disaster, would be a worse outcome.

Labour MPs representing Brexit-backing constituencies, including Caroline Flint, Gareth Snell and Lisa Nandy, have suggested they could back an agreement that prevents the country from crashing out of the EU without a deal.

However, the hard-Left faction Momentum is getting ready to launch an offensive to exert pressure on the MPs not to vote for the Brexit deal in defiance of Mr Corbyn.

Pro-Brexit Labour MP Kate Hoey, who has previously backed the government in some key votes, has also signalled she would not back the deal because of concerns that it does not deliver on the referendum result.

Tony Blair yesterday urged Labour MPs to reject the deal and back a second referendum, hitting out at Mr Corbyn's 'abject refusal' to 'lead the country out of the Brexit nightmare'.

In a speech in London, Mr Blair said he had some sympathy with the Prime Minister who was faced with 'an impossible circle to square' in keeping a frictionless border with Ireland but extracting the UK from the single market and customs union.

But he said: 'Nothing can disguise the nature of the deal she has chosen, if reports of it are true.

'This deal isn't a compromise, it's a capitulation. 'The withdrawal agreement will keep us tied to EU trade policy until there is an end established by 'joint consent' - in other words, the EU has a veto.

'It is coated in heavy fudge, but that is the inedible biscuit beneath the coating.'

At Prime Minister's Questions, Mr Corbyn denounced Mrs May's draft deal as a 'failure in its own terms'. He told MPs: 'It doesn't deliver a Brexit for the whole country... it breaches the Prime Minister's own red lines, it doesn't deliver a strong economic deal that supports jobs and industry, and we know they haven't prepared seriously for no deal.' Mrs May said Mr Corbyn was 'wrong' in his description and accused Labour of seeking to 'frustrate' Brexit.

She told the Commons: 'Time and time again he has stood up in this House and complained and said that the Government isn't making progress, that the Government isn't anywhere close to a deal.

'Now when we're making progress and close to a deal he's complaining about that.

'I think what that clearly shows is that he and the Labour Party have only one intention: that is to frustrate Brexit and betray the vote of the British people.' A senior spokesman for the Labour leader later said that the 'likelihood' was that the party would vote against the Prime Minister's plan.

The spokesman said: 'We've set out what our priorities are and from what we know of it, it doesn't meet those priorities and it looks like a botched, half-baked deal that doesn't deliver for the country as a whole.

'Labour has an alternative plan for Brexit which includes a new and comprehensive customs union with a British say on future trade deals, and a new single market deal with full protections and guarantees on rights and standards and protections.

'We believe that package would command support in Parliament and unite Leavers and Remainers and has majority support in the country, and that is what should be negotiated.'

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