UK Opposition Tries to Stop a No-Deal Brexit

LONDON (AFP) — England’s Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn on Tuesday will try to bridge deep divisions with other opposition parties on how to avoid Britain crashing out of the European Union on Oct. 31.

British Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn wants to call a no-confidence vote against Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and says he’s ready to take over the reins if it succeeds. (Stefan Rousseau file photo/PA via AP)

Corbyn said he would “do everything necessary” to stop a no-deal Brexit, after leaked official warnings that this could lead to shortages of food, fuel and medicine.

The Labour leader said he plans to call a no-confidence vote in Prime Minister Boris Johnson next week and if he wins it would be ready to lead a caretaker government.

But other opposition MPs favor passing a law that would force the government to ask the EU to delay Brexit.

Before the talks, Corbyn wrote in The Independent that Johnson was “cozying up to” President Donald Trump in the hope of securing a free-trade deal after Brexit.

“A No-Deal Brexit is really a Trump Deal Brexit,” he wrote. “It won’t return sovereignty, it will put us at the mercy of Trump and the big U.S. corporations.”

He added: “I hope we can come to a good working arrangement and bring on board others across Parliament who see the danger of a No-Deal crash out.”

Speaking to BBC radio, Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson said she would be willing to discuss all possible options “because we do not have a lot of time.”

Britain’s Parliament will resume next week. But anti-Brexit politicians have been discussing plans ever since Johnson came to power in July, vowing to take Britain out of the EU on Oct. 31 with or without a divorce deal with Brussels.

Johnson has said he is hoping for a deal with EU leaders, describing the chances as “marginally” higher after G7 talks over the weekend.

But Johnson has not ruled out suspending Parliament in order to allow a no-deal Brexit if he fails to come to an agreement with the EU in the next weeks.

Labour’s Brexit spokesman Keir Starmer has said suspending Parliament — known as proroguing — would be “unlawful” and “completely unacceptable”.

The political impasse has raised the chances of a general election, and politicians of all stripes are preparing.

The Brexit Party, which came first in European elections this year and advocates a no-deal Brexit, is presenting its candidates at a launch event Tuesday.

Britain voted to leave the European Union in a 2016 referendum but has been forced to delay its exit twice after Parliament opposed a deal struck with Brussels under Johnson’s predecessor Theresa May.

“Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party will do anything to try and block delivering the change that British people voted for in the referendum,” the Conservatives said in a statement.

“Only Boris Johnson and the Conservatives can provide the leadership the UK needs to deliver Brexit by 31 October, whatever the circumstances,” the statement said.

© Agence France-Presse

%d bloggers like this: