Jeremy Corbyn demands Theresa May keeps her promises on this week’s Brexit votes
Jeremy Corbyn MP, Leader of the Labour Party, asking an urgent question in parliament on progress made in achieving legal changes to the EU Withdrawal Agreement and the timetable for a meaningful vote, said:
“The Government is in chaos and the country in crisis. Just ten minutes ago the government was unable to confirm who would be responding to my Urgent Question. We find out from journalists and from the Irish Government that the Prime Minister is now is heading to Strasbourg this evening, hours before the meaningful vote is due.
“The Prime Minister was clear and categorical on 26 February: “I want to reassure the House by making three further commitments. First, we will hold a second meaningful vote by Tuesday 12 March at the latest.” The Prime Minister also committed to a vote on no deal by 13 March and a vote on whether to extend Article 50 by 14 March. She concluded by saying, and I quote: “They are commitments I am making as Prime Minister, and I will stick by them”.
“This is a matter of trust. Time and time again this Prime Minister has failed to negotiate, refused to compromise, and delayed and delayed. After three months the Prime Minister has not achieved one single change to her deal; she is simply running down the clock.
“It was a bad deal in December when it was first tabled. It was a bad deal in January when it was rejected by the largest margin in Parliamentary history. And it is still a bad deal now.
“These shambolic negotiations and endless delays are having real life consequences in workplaces across the UK. Businesses are holding back on investment jobs have been lost workplaces are closing. Workers fear for their jobs. The NHS and public services are having to spend millions of pounds preparing for a ‘no deal’ outcome that this House has already rejected.
“So, can the Minister explain: What changes have they got to the backstop? Will the Attorney General be publishing new legal advice or is it the case that after three months of delays, nothing has changed? Given they whipped their MPs for the amendment in the name of the Hon member for Altrincham and Sale West, which said the deal could only be supported with changes on backstop, will the Prime Minister be voting against her own deal if no changes have been secured?
“Will they confirm that we will get a meaningful vote on the deal tomorrow, a vote to rule out no deal on 13 March and a vote to extend Article 50 on 14 March, as promised?
“And will the Minister confirm that if the deal is rejected again tomorrow, whether the Prime Minister will shift her red lines and show not just that she is willing to meet with members of this House, but that she is willing to compromise with them too?”
Notes to editors
The text of Jeremy Corbyn’s urgent question to the government reads as follows:“To ask the Prime Minister if she will make a statement on progress made in achieving legal changes to the EU Withdrawal Agreement and the timetable for approval in this House through a Meaningful vote.”