Corbyn: The Tories are making a 'mess' of Brexit

PUBLISHED: 16:50 31 December 2018 | UPDATED: 16:50 31 December 2018

Leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn who has used his new year message to accuse Theresa May's government of plunging the country into crisis by making a

Leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn who has used his new year message to accuse Theresa May's government of plunging the country into crisis by making a "mess" of Brexit. Photograph: Nick Ansell/PA.

Jeremy Corbyn has used his New Year's message to attack Theresa May and the government for making a 'mess' of Brexit.

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The Labour leader said that the prime minister’s efforts to force through her Withdrawal Agreement in a crunch Commons vote next month, were “letting people down all across the country, whether they voted Leave or Remain”.

In the message, he said that the UK was full of talent which was being held back by the economic system and Conservative rule.

Corbyn said Labour was committed to uniting a “divided” country by creating “a society where the talent of everyone is unleashed”.

“There’s so much talent across Britain but we’re being held back by a system that for far too long has only served a privileged few,” said Corbyn.

“And now the Conservatives have plunged the country into crisis over the complete mess they’ve made of Brexit, trying to drive through a bad deal and letting people down all across the country whether they voted Leave or Remain.

“Eight years of damaging Tory failure has left us with a divided country where millions are struggling to make ends meet, where so many can’t afford a home to call their own, where older people are deprived of the dignity they deserve and far too many are working in low paid and insecure jobs.”

Meanwhile Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable said the UK enters 2019 with “90 days to change the course of this country”.

Sir Vince said the next three months will be “critical” to the future of the UK, and insisted it is still possible for the battle to stop Brexit to be won.

He urged opponents of EU withdrawal to “keep fighting” for a second referendum, which he described as “the only way forward” following Theresa May’s poorly-received deal with Brussels.

And he accused the prime minister of trying to “frighten” MPs into backing her Withdrawal Agreement in next month’s crunch Commons vote with warnings of serious disruption to travel and business.

“In reality, that can’t happen unless she decides it should,” he said.

Sir Vince said: “As we enter 2019, time is ticking down on Brexit.

“The history books will look back on the coming three months as critical.

“Are we going to make a terrible mistake, leaving behind our influence in Europe’s most successful peace project and the world’s biggest marketplace? Or are the British people, in the final hours, going to be given a chance to re-consider in light of all the facts which have come to the surface in the last two years?”

With a deal on the table which “satisfies no-one”, he said: “The only way forward is to have a People’s Vote, with the option to Remain.”

Sir Vince said the campaign for a second referendum which has been backed by Lib Dems since 2016 was now “beginning to bear fruit”, with millions of people voicing their support in petitions, letters to their MPs and marches.

“We have to keep fighting,” he said. “We have perhaps only 90 days to change the course of this country, but with your support we can do it.”

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