Diane Abbott says ‘Labour is up for an election’ if prime minister takes no-deal Brexit off the table

Diane Abbott speaking on BBC's The Andrew Marr show. Picture: BBC

Diane Abbott speaking on BBC's The Andrew Marr show. Picture: BBC - Credit: Archant

Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbot claims the threat of a no-deal exit from the EU and a 'Trump Brexit' means Labour cannot yet support a general election.

Diane Abbott told BBC's Andrew Marr that Labour could back a general election if the prime minister gave a categorical assurance to MPs that he will not crash out of the EU without a deal.

She said: "He could come to parliament and categorically give parliament an undertaking that he's not going to come out without a deal.

"But he won't do that, because coming out without a deal is something that people around him like Dominic Cummings would want because then it becomes not just Brexit but a Trump Brexit - opening up the British economy to American multi-nationals.

"But if he were to come to parliament and say that he's not going to crash out without a deal, we would be satisfied with that."

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The Labour MP told Andrew Marr that once her party is aware of what kind of extension the EU is offering, then they will consider Boris Johnson's proposal for a general election.

"We have over half a million members and they want an election," said Abbott.

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"I don't think anyone of us believes Boris Johnson should be in power for a minute longer than is necessary."

She added that Labour hadn't yet had a chance to discuss the Lib Dem's bill which also supports a general election.

The Hackney North and Stoke Newington MP said the bill was problematic because it calls on the EU to give the UK an extension.

"We can't dictate to the EU what length of extension they want to give," she said.

"We have to hear from them."

Abbott insisted that a no-deal Brexit would be a "disaster" for Britain.

She said: "If we crashed out of the EU we would have no access to European arrest warrants, no access to Europol, no access to all sorts of databases.

"Labour will do anything in its power to stop that.

"We're waiting to see what the EU says. But make no mistake, the Labour party is up for an election."

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