May faces Tory revolt as cross-party MPs plan to veto leaving the EU without a deal
LABOUR’S leadership has slammed the Tories over their pitiful failings on Brexit that are driving Britain towards “economic disaster.”
Shadow chancellor John McDonnell said yesterday that the government could face defeat in the House of Commons if it pursued its calamitous “no deal” strategy.
It came as a cross-party group of MPs declared plans which would give Parliament the ability to veto a “no deal” outcome.
Mr McDonnell told BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show that some Tories were turning in desperation to Labour to avoid Britain leaving the EU without an agreement.
He said he believes Theresa May lacks a majority in the Commons for such an exit, and said he is “not willing to countenance” it.
The amendment to the EU Withdrawal Bill, tabled by pro-EU Tory former chancellor Kenneth Clarke, has already been signed by Conservative, Labour and Lib Dem MPs.
The DUP have also ruled out a no-deal outcome as this would bring back the hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic.
“I think on a cross-party basis you’ll see in the debates in the coming week — the government will get the message, there will be a deal,” Mr McDonnell said.
He said that Labour was prepared “to put aside party differences” and form ties with MPs from other parties in order to prevent a “no-deal” departure.
“If we amend the legislation for Parliament to have a meaningful vote, it’ll force the government to negotiate — come to their senses, negotiate properly,” he said.
Mr McDonnell also attacked the government for being “more interested in negotiating to save the Conservative Party” than “the interests of the country.”
His comments echoed those of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who warned on Saturday that Tory infighting is putting Britain on the path to further “economic disaster.”
Speaking at the annual conference of the Co-operative Party in London, Mr Corbyn accused the PM of “failing” in exit negotiations and risking a “jobs meltdown.”
“The Tories are transparently failing in the Brexit negotiations,” he said.
“They are making a shocking mess of Brexit. They are split down the middle, negotiating with each other instead of the EU.
“With each passing day they are driving us closer to a no-deal Brexit.”
Mr Corbyn said that result, which could leave EU citizens without residency rights and increase trade tariffs, was “the worst possible deal.”
He said: “The risk would be that key manufacturers leave for the European mainland, taking skilled jobs with them.”
“A powerful faction of the Tories want a no-deal outcome because they think they can use it to turn our economy into a deregulated tax haven. We must not let them.”
Ms May sparked panic last week when she announced that the government was preparing for leaving without a deal as talks with the EU remained deadlocked.