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Parliament Tory Brexit divisions hold May back from delivering a ‘coherent and decisive plan’

JEREMY CORBYN pressed Theresa May today to clarify her government’s Brexit plans, attributing her vagueness to her failing to manage “oversized egos” in her warring Cabinet.

The Labour leader said that the PM was “incapable” of delivering a “coherent and decisive plan” due to the deep divisions.

He called on her to clarify what she means to have “ambitious managed divergence” from the EU and asked her to specify which sectors would be, or not be, aligned with the trading bloc.

At Prime Minister’s Questions, Ms May said that she would reveal all in her Brexit speech on Friday, prompting opposition shouts demanding why she was making her speech outside Parliament.

Mr Corbyn criticised Ms May for her “endless round of after-dinner speeches” on the EU and said that the slap-up meals “do not substitute for negotiations.”

He raised concerns over NHS staffing in the light of limited EU migration, to which Ms May replied that the government was committed to training medics who are already British citizens.

But Mr Corbyn pointed out that it showed that ministers were “completely oblivious” to the 100,000 NHS vacancies caused by the Tories’ abolition of bursaries for nursing and midwifery trainees and the raising of university tuition fees.

The legal draft of the Brexit withdrawal agreement was published by the EU today, proposing keeping Northern Ireland in a “common regulatory area” — a de facto customs union — to maintain a “soft” border with Ireland if no other solution can be found.

Ms May rejected this, saying “no UK prime minister could ever agree to it.” She added that the Brussels plan “threatens the constitutional integrity” of Britain by drawing a new border in the Irish Sea.

Shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer said that Ms May’s failure to offer viable solutions to the border problem had “come back to haunt her.” Labour has clarified this week that it would seek to negotiate a new UK-EU customs union to avoid the need for a “hard” border in Northern Ireland.

Mr Starmer said: “The EU-UK government war of words needs to end. There can be absolutely no deviation from the solemn commitments made to Northern Ireland at the end of the first phase of Brexit negotiations.

“That means no hard border or any agreement that would undermine the Good Friday Agreement.” 

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