Cor­byn plans a Labour leader will ta­ble mo­tion if Theresa May’s deal fails to win vote

The Press and Journal (Moray) - - NEWS - What’ s next?

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 Euro­pean Union.

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 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, Mrs May pleaded with par­lia­men­tar­i­ans to “do what is right for our coun­try” and back her deal.

Brexit Sec­re­tary Steve Bar­clay also 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 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 have to be ex­tended if his party came into power.

He told Marr: “Clearly, 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, and there would have to be time for those ne­go­ti­a­tions.”

Writ­ing in the Sun­day Ex­press, Mrs May said: “You, the Bri­tish peo­ple, voted to leave. And then, in the 2017 gen­eral elec­tion, 80% of you voted for MPs who stood on man­i­festos to re­spect that ref­er­en­dum re­sult. You have de­liv­ered your in­struc­tions. Now it is our turn to de­liver for you.

“When you voted in the ref­er­en­dum, you did so be­cause you wanted your voice to be heard. Some of you put your trust in the po­lit­i­cal process for the first time in decades. We can­not – and must not – let you down.

“Do­ing so would be a cat­a­strophic and un­for­giv­able breach of trust in our democ­racy. So my mes­sage to Par­lia­ment this week­end is sim­ple: it is time to for­get the games and do what is right for our coun­try.” The sim­plest out­come to the plot comes if the gov­ern­ment wins the vote on the With­drawal Agree­ment.

In this in­stance, the UK would leave the Euro­pean Union on March 29.

But should Mrs May’s deal be voted down, then a host of sce­nar­ios are avail­able.

An amend­ment passed by Par­lia­ment means that the gov­ern­ment must come back with their plan B three days fol­low­ing the vote.

A vote of no con­fi­dence in Mrs May has been mooted and a gen­eral elec­tion could take place if it suc­ceeds.

The gov­ern­ment could also ask for an ex­ten­sion to Ar­ti­cle 50, ei­ther from the cur­rent gov­ern­ment or in the in­stance that a new prime min­is­ter was ap­pointed.

Should the EU not agree to post­pon­ing Brexit then the UK would leave the EU with­out a deal on March 29.

The big un­knowns are on ex­tend­ing Ar­ti­cle 50, and on re­open­ing ne­go­ti­a­tions.

This could in­clude dis­cus­sions about a free trade agree­ment, a cus­toms union, mem­ber­ship of the sin­gle mar­ket and even a sec­ond ref­er­en­dum on the deal.

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