Wednesday 4 September 2019 / 8:41 PM Jeremy Corbyn

Let this Bill pass and we will back an election – Corbyn

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn tonight told MPs that Labour will support a motion for a general election as soon as the Bill to stop No Deal becomes law.

Speaking after parliament voted through the first stages of legislation to rule out a No Deal Brexit, the Labour leader said: “I repeat what I said last night, Mr Speaker: Let this Bill pass and gain Royal Assent, then we will back an election.”

Jeremy Corbyn MP, Leader of the Labour Party, said:

“Mr Speaker, this is the second time I have replied to a Conservative Prime Minister seeking to dissolve Parliament and call an election because they didn’t have a deliverable Brexit policy.

“Although I’m not condemning the Rt Hon member for Maidenhead by comparing her to her successor. She at least made detailed speeches setting out her Brexit policy, even if we disagreed about it.

“This Prime Minister claims he has a strategy, but he can’t tell us what it is. The bigger problem for him is that he hasn’t told the EU what it is either.

“And at Prime Minister’s Question Time today, as with the statement yesterday, he was unable to say whether he’s even made any proposals whatsoever to the EU.

“And it’s basically a policy that’s cloaked in mystery, like the Emperor’s New Clothes there really is absolutely nothing there.

“And the naked truth is that the reality is deeply unpalatable a disastrous No Deal Brexit to take us into the arms of a trade deal with Donald Trump that would put America First and Britain a distant second.

“The Prime Minister knows there is no mandate for No Deal, no majority support for it in the country, and no majority for it in this House.

“The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster – the co-convenor of the Vote Leave campaign – said in March this year: “We didn’t vote to leave without a deal”.

“Even the leaders of the Leave campaign are absolutely clear that the referendum conferred no mandate for No Deal.

“No Deal is opposed by every business group, every industry body, every trade union and by this House, as this vote and others have shown.

“We want an election. We look forward to turfing this Government out.

“But the offer an election today is like the offer of an apple to Snow White from the wicked Queen.

“Because what he is offering is not an apple, or even an election, but the poison of No Deal.

“I repeat what I said last night, Mr Speaker: Let this Bill pass, and gain Royal Assent, then we will back an election so we do not crash out with a No Deal exit from the European Union.

“But again today, we see the anti-democratic instincts of this Government.

“Despite the expressed will of the House to support the Bill debated today, the Conservative peers in the Lords have tabled 92 amendments for debate.

“I really doubt this is motivated by improving the legislation – not a bit of it – but to filibuster it.

“An undemocratic cabal in Downing Street aligning with an unelected House to override the democratic will of this House expressed in the Bill we have just given a third reading to.

“If they can’t win the argument they try to shut down debate.

“We had the Prime Minister deciding to prorogue Parliament in August and today he wants to dissolve Parliament to shutdown scrutiny.

“He cannot handle dissent and debate within his own Party and has extraordinarily expelled 21 of his own MPs who voted against him last night.

“The hypocrisy of this process is phenomenal from a Prime Minister who twice voted against the last Prime Minister’s Brexit plans.

“A general election isn’t a plaything for a Prime Minister to avoid his obligations, to dodge scrutiny, or renege on his commitments.

“He has committed to renegotiate Brexit – but where is it? Where is the plan? Where are the proposals?

“If he has a Brexit plan – be it No Deal or this new mystery proposed deal we are yet to see any detail of – then he should put it before the people in a public vote, a referendum or a general election and seek a mandate from them.

“Let the Prime Minister go to Brussels tomorrow and ask for an extension so that he can seek a mandate for his unknown Brexit plan and put it before the people.

“The truth, Mr Speaker, is that this motion from the Prime Minister is about playing disingenuous games that are unworthy of his office.

“I look forward to the day his government and his party and all the austerity and misery they’ve heaped on this country are turfed out of office and we prevent this country crashing out on October 31st with all the damage he knows, because he’s already seen the documents, it will do to people’s lives and job prospects in this country.

“It’s a cynical move from a cynical Prime Minister.”

Ends