Brexit: Corbyn says opposition vying to avoid ‘no-deal crash out’

Former Conservative minister Sam Gyimah becomes sixth MP to defect to Liberal Democrats

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is pictured at a Scottish Trades Union Congress ‘Fighting for our Future’ march and rally in Kirkcaldy. Photograph: Lesley Martin/PA Wire.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is pictured at a Scottish Trades Union Congress ‘Fighting for our Future’ march and rally in Kirkcaldy. Photograph: Lesley Martin/PA Wire.

 

British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said he and other opposition parties are determined to do all they can to prevent a damaging “no-deal crash out” from the European Union.

Mr Corbyn said that if the UK does leave with no-deal he is determined to hold the government to account to answer for their “irresponsible behaviour” over the last few days.

Prime minister Boris Johnson is legally bound to ask Brussels for an extension to Article 50, which triggered the UK’s EU departure, if he cannot get MPs to back a deal by October 19th after parliament approved legislation designed to prevent a no-deal, but has said he would rather be “dead in a ditch” than ask for a delay.

This week he was forced to deny lying to the queen in order to secure his five-week suspension to parliament as the October 31st departure deadline looms.

“Opposition parties have worked very closely on this,” Mr Corbyn said. “We will do all we can to prevent that no-deal crash-out because of all the damage that will do to jobs, living standards, supply chains, food supplies and medicine supplies, and if it happens we’re absolutely determined to bring this government to account to make them answer for their irresponsible behaviour over the last few days.

“I personally, and my party, will have no truck with this sweetheart trade deal with the USA which would lead to intervention by American companies into our health service, into our public services.”

Rally

The Labour leader was addressing workers and trade uniThe area has recentlyonists at a rally following the Fighting For Our Future march in Kirkcaldy in Scotland on Saturday.

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suffered job losses at furniture makers Havelock, seen disputes over pay at whisky firm Diageo and suffered a lack of work at the Bifab fabrication yards in Methil and Burntisland.

The mothballed yards are hoping to secure work on a £2 billion Scottish offshore wind project off the Fife coast, although it is feared most of the work will go overseas.

There are fears that French-owned electric utility company EDF plans to ship work in fabricating wind turbine jackets abroad to Indonesia instead of building them in Fife yards which are 10 miles from the site of a proposed Neart na Gaoithe (NnG) Offshore Wind Farm which will host the turbines.

Mr Corbyn said he supported the campaign for local jobs and called for a “green industrial revolution” as a way forward for the future.

Former Tory minister Sam Gyimah: ‘The issue for me is not just Brexit. It is beyond Brexit.’ Photograph: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire
Former Tory minister Sam Gyimah: ‘The issue for me is not just Brexit. It is beyond Brexit.’ Photograph: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Sixth defection

Earlier on Saturday, former Conservative minister and leadership contender Sam Gyimah has become the sixth MP to defect to the Liberal Democrats this year.

Mr Gyimah, who represents East Surrey, sat as an Independent after losing the Tory whip when he backed a move by opposition parties to prevent a no-deal Brexit earlier this month.

He has been a prominent advocate of a second referendum and was briefly in the race to replace Theresa May as Conservative leader in June.

Announcing his decision to join the Lib Dems on the first day of their annual conference in Bournemouth, the former education minister said centrists were being “cast out of both main parties”.

He told the Observer: “I listen to ministers undermining the courts . . . Ministers questioning experts because their views are inconvenient for what the Government is saying about no-deal.

“You have a government that says law enforcement is the centrepiece of its platform and yet says in another breath that it will pick and choose what laws it chooses to respect.

“This is in many ways undermining key pillars of our constitution and the functioning of our democracy. The issue for me is not just Brexit. It is beyond Brexit – how you conduct politics and the veering towards populism and English nationalism.” – PA

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