No-deal Brexit: Jeremy Corbyn vows to 'pull Britain back from the brink' in outspoken attack on Boris Johnson

Labour leader will summon shadow cabinet for emergency talks to agree tactics

Lizzy Buchan
Political Corresondent
Sunday 01 September 2019 22:41
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How could a no-deal Brexit be stopped?

Jeremy Corbyn will declare Labour ready to do whatever it takes to “pull our country back from the brink” as he mounted an outspoken attack on the “phoney populist cabal” in Downing Street.

Ahead of a momentous week in Westminster, the Labour leader will summon the shadow cabinet for emergency talks to hammer out tactics to prevent a no-deal Brexit.

In a major speech in Salford, Mr Corbyn will say fighting no deal is “a battle of the many against the few, who are hijacking the referendum result to shift even more power and wealth towards those at the top”.

Tensions have ramped up in the wake of Boris Johnson’s shock decision to suspend parliament for more than a month ahead of the 31 October deadline, fuelling fears he is preparing to force through a chaotic Brexit.

Cabinet minister Michael Gove heightened anger and paranoia among MPs when he suggested the government might defy legislation blocking a no-deal Brexit.

Mr Corbyn is expected to say: “We are working with other parties to do everything necessary to pull our country back from the brink.

“Like all progressive change, democracy was won from below it wasn’t handed down from above.

“So when a prime minister who hasn’t won an election and who doesn’t have a majority decrees that parliament will be shut down because he knows his plan for a disastrous no deal doesn’t have the votes, we say that is an attack on democracy which will be resisted.”

Mr Corbyn is expected to describe no deal as a “Trump-deal Brexit”, warning it would lead to a one-sided trade deal that would leave the UK at the mercy of American corporations.

“The people will not allow a phoney populist cabal in Downing Street, in hock to the vested interests of the richest, to deny them their democratic voice,” he will say.

“The battle to stop no deal isn’t a struggle between those who want to leave the EU and those who want continued membership.

“It’s a battle of the many against the few who are hijacking the referendum result to shift even more power and wealth towards those at the top.”

The Labour leader will cite new research showing workers in manufacturing have lost out on £55 a week since 2010 as he claims a chaotic Brexit will add to the damage done to industry.

A cross-party alliance of MPs will attempt to thwart a no-deal Brexit on 31 October by seizing control of the parliamentary timetable to force through backbench legislation.

Sir Keir Starmer said opposition plans to block the UK leaving the EU without a deal will require an extension to Article 50.

Speaking on the BBC’s The Andrew Marr Show, the shadow Brexit secretary said: “The legislation is intended to ensure we don’t leave without a deal, that will require an extension.

“The length of the extension is secondary, frankly. We have simply got to stop us leaving without a deal.”

But James Cleverly, the Conservative Party chairman, accused him of trying to cancel the referendum result.

“Keir Starmer won’t say how long Labour would extend Article 50 for, showing all they offer is more dither, delay and uncertainty,” he said.

“Only Boris Johnson and the Conservatives will leave the EU by 31 October, whatever the circumstances, and deliver the change British people voted for.”

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