PM insists UK should leave EU in ‘orderly way’ after Tory MP urges no-deal exit
Theresa May has insisted leaving the EU in an “orderly way” will be the best Brexit for the UK after a Tory MP urged her to consider a no-deal scenario.
Craig Tracey (North Warwickshire) asked the Prime Minister to respect their party’s manifesto commitments to leave the customs union and single market.
Speaking during Prime Minister’s Questions in the Commons, he said: “Do you agree with me that if the best way to do that, rather than deliver the diluted deal which is unrecognisable to many of us who voted to leave, is to go under WTO rules, then we should grab that opportunity and believe in the ability of the British people and the Conservative Government to make a success of it?”
Mrs May replied: “Can I agree with you that I believe a Conservative Government will make a success of whatever the situation is in relation to Brexit.
“But I still believe, actually, the best Brexit for the UK is for us to be able to leave in an orderly way, to be able to leave with a deal.”
The PM added that there are some MPs who do not want to “honour the result of the referendum”, adding: “I do.”
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said discussions are continuing in an attempt to find a compromise Brexit deal, before switching focus to cuts to local government.
He said communities across the country have been “abandoned”, adding: “Official figures show that nine of the 10 most deprived council areas in this country have seen cuts almost three times the average of any other council.
“Why has the Prime Minister decided to cut the worst-off areas in our country more than the most well-off?”
Mrs May said councils have more money available this year and a real-terms increase has been provided, adding: “(Mr Corbyn) voted against that money being available.”
But the Labour leader said child poverty is rising, saying in Swindon it is a third higher than in Surrey, but “in Swindon they will have lost £235 in cuts” while “Surrey gets more money from central Government”, asking the PM to explain.
She said the “average spending power per home for the most deprived local authorities is over 20% higher than for the least deprived local authorities”.
Mr Corbyn said that, under this Government, 500,000 more children “have gone into relative poverty”, and, to cries of shame from the Labour benches, he said: “In Stoke-on-Trent alone, 4,000 food bank parcels were handed out to children last year.”
He finished by saying: “The evidence is clear: the Tories have abandoned communities across the country, they’ve left towns and cities to fend for themselves after nine years of vindictive, damaging austerity.”
Pointing out that there are 1,000 fewer Sure Start centres and 760 fewer youth centres since the last Labour government, he said: “This Government stands for tax cuts for the richest and swingeing cuts for the rest.
“Will the Prime Minister now admit that, far from tackling the burning injustices she talked about, her Government’s cruel and unfair policies have pushed councils to the brink and left those just about managing not being able to mange at all? That is her legacy.”
Mrs May hit back, saying she was “proud to lead a Government that has seen more children in good schools, more doctors, more jobs, lower borrowing, lower unemployment, lower taxes”.
And she said if Mr Corbyn got into power it would mean “destroying our defences, abandoning our allies, billions more in borrowing, fewer opportunities, and higher taxes for everyone”.