A general election is the most “practical” and “democratic” way to “break the deadlock” in Parliament over Brexit, Jeremy Corbyn is set to say.
The Labour leader will argue that a government with a new mandate could negotiate a better withdrawal deal as he reiterates his call for another election in a speech in Yorkshire on Thursday.
Mr Corbyn is expected to repeat that his party will vote down the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal, and will explain Labour’s approach to unite Leave and Remain voters around their common interests.
— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) January 9, 2019
He will say: “If the Government cannot pass its most important legislation, then there must be a general election at the earliest opportunity.
“A government that cannot get its business through the House of Commons is no government at all. So I say to Theresa May: if you are so confident in your deal, call that election, and let the people decide.
“To break the deadlock, an election is not only the most practical option, it is also the most democratic option. It would give the winning party a renewed mandate to negotiate a better deal for Britain and secure support for it in Parliament and across the country.
“For both sides, the EU referendum was about so much more than our relationship with our biggest trading partner and its rules. It was about what’s happened to our people over decades and how to build a better future.
“The need for a government with a clear purpose and direction for the country could not be more urgent. Labour stands ready to bring Leave and Remain voters together to rebuild Britain for the many, not the few.”
Mr Corbyn is set to tell an audience of workers and party members that the “real divide” in the UK is not between Leave and Remain voters, but between the “many” who “do the work, create the wealth and pay taxes” and the “few” who “set the rules, reap the rewards and so often dodge taxes”.
He will add: “People across the country, whether they voted Leave or Remain, both know that the system isn’t working for them. Some see the European Union as a defence against insecurity and hostility. Others see the European Union as part of an establishment that plunged them into insecurity and hostility in the first place.
“But it’s the failed system rigged against the many to protect the interests of the few that is the real cause of inequality and insecurity, whether in Tottenham or Mansfield.
“And the real solution is to transform Britain to work in the interests of the vast majority, by challenging the entrenched power of a privileged elite. That is how we can help to heal the referendum’s deep divisions.”
Conservative Party chairman Brandon Lewis said: “Labour simply do not have a plan for Brexit. Instead they are arguing in public about whether to frustrate the decision of the British people and rerun the referendum.
“While they play politics, we will act in the national interest – delivering on the referendum decision with the right Brexit deal and building a country that works for everyone.
“After nearly two years of long and complex negotiations, Labour would take us back to square one.”
Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesman Tom Brake said: “If Corbyn really wants to know what the public thinks of Theresa May’s Brexit deal, he should support a People’s Vote.
“It is shameful that Corbyn continues to sit on the fence on the biggest issue this country has faced since the Second World War. He is failing to provide proper opposition to this shambolic Conservative Government.”