Corbyn says that no MP Labour should be willing to support PM’s ‘reckless’ Brexit proposals

Jeremy Corbyn gives statement on Boris Johnson's Brexit proposals. Photograph: Parliament TV.

Jeremy Corbyn gives statement on Boris Johnson's Brexit proposals. Photograph: Parliament TV. - Credit: Archant

Jeremy Corbyn has said that no Labour MP should be willing to support Boris Johnson's 'reckless' Brexit proposals.

Speaking in the Commons, Corbyn said the PM's plan amounted to a "rehashed version" of previously rejected proposals which "put the Good Friday Agreement at risk and would trigger a race to the bottom on rights and protections for workers, consumers and our precious environment".

The Labour leader said: "No Labour MP could support such a reckless deal that will be used as a springboard to attack rights and standards in this country.

"Deal or no deal, this government's agenda is clear.

"They want a Trump-deal Brexit. A Trump-deal Brexit that would crash our economy and rip away the standards that put a floor under people's rights at work, that protect our environment and protect our consumers."

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The opposition leader, who accidentally knocked over a glass of water during his speech, concluded: "The proposals are unrealistic and damaging and will, as I think the prime minister full well knows, be rejected in Brussels, be rejected in this House and rejected across this country."

In recent weeks some Labour MPs have repeated their desire to secure a Brexit deal although it remains to be seen how they respond to the current proposals from Boris Johnson.

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SNP Westminster Leader Ian Blackford later said Johnson's proposals are "unacceptable" to Scotland.

He said: "I want to be very clear with the prime minister from the outset. These proposals are unacceptable, they are unworkable, they are undeliverable, and it's all about blaming someone else - in this case the European Union when the plan was rejected.

"Mr Speaker, it is a plan designed to fail, but of course the prime minister knows that. By his own desire this take-it-or-leave-it threat is yet another push towards a catastrophic no-deal Brexit.

"The SNP will do everything possible to secure an extension and to stop a no-deal Brexit, so I say to the prime minister: be warned, secure an extension or resign. If not the SNP stand ready to bring this government down."

Johnson said: "The best way, if he wishes to avoid a no-deal outcome... I respectfully suggest to him that the best way to do that would be to support a deal.

"These proposals amount to a very good basis for a deal.

"And finally, Mr Speaker, if he does want to remove me from office then the best thing he can do is to work on the right honourable gentleman opposite and ask him to call a general election."

Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson called for the prime minister to visit the Northern Ireland border and "listen to people and communities there".

She said: "If the prime minister had bothered to go to the Northern Ireland border, he would know the genuine fear that people there feel about his proposals which they see will result in physical infrastructure for the border, whether that is actually on the border or as he euphemistically puts it 'at some other point in the supply chain'."

Johnson replied: "I, of course, understand the concerns of the people of both sides of the Northern Irish border and indeed across this country.

"That's why we are absolutely determined not to have any kind of infrastructure checks at the border or near the border, as I explained to my honourable friend. They are not necessary."

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