Corbyn warns of confidence vote
THERESA MAY faces a vote of no confidence in her Government “soon”, Jeremy Corbyn has warned, as the Prime Minister issued a last-ditch plea to MPs to back her Brexit deal or risk staying in the EU.
The Labour leader said people should “see what happens” tomorrow, when Mrs May’s controversial Withdrawal Agreement is put to a vote in the Commons, but said his party would table a confidence motion “at a time of our choosing”.
Mr Corbyn told BBC One’s The Andrew Marr Show: “We will table a motion of no confidence in the Government at a time of our choosing, but it’s going to be soon, don’t worry about it.”
It came after the Prime Minister warned of a “catastrophic and unforgivable” breach of trust in democracy if her exit plan is defeated and the UK remains in the EU.
With just two days to go before the Commons vote on her Withdrawal Agreement, the Prime Minister pleaded with parliamentarians to “do what is right for our country” and back her deal.
While Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay said there was “some movement” from MPs to support the agreement which is widely expected to be defeated, he thought that if it fell, the Commons would eventually support something “along the lines of this deal”.
And he warned of a “growing risk” that Parliament could frustrate Brexit, following reports of a plot to change Commons rules to enable backbench motions to take precedence over Government business if Mrs May’s deal falls.
Downing Street said it was “extremely concerned” about the plans, reported in the Sunday Times, which could threaten Brexit legislation and the Government’s ability to govern.
Meanwhile, Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable said it would be “unforgivable” if a no-deal Brexit was allowed to happen, adding: “I think Parliament will take control of this process, will insist that we pursue the option of no Brexit.”
Sir Vince said this could happen by cancelling Article 50 – which he noted would be “resented by lots of people” – or via a second referendum.
Mr Corbyn hinted that Article 50 may be extended if his party came into power. He told Marr: “If a general election takes place and a Labour government comes in... clearly there’s only a few weeks between that and the leave date, there would have to be time for those negotiations.”
As speculation mounted that Mrs May’s deal would be defeated, former Prime Minister Sir John Major called for Article 50 to be revoked and to halt Brexit, as he warned it would be “morally reprehensible” to crash out without a deal.
It also emerged that 14 military planners have been deployed to four key Whitehall departments to assist with no-deal planning, according to a Freedom of Information request by the Observer.
Meanwhile, more than 100 MEPs from 26 EU member states signed a letter calling on the UK to “reconsider” the Brexit decision.