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Corbyn: Labour to block Article 50 if May cannot guarantee single market access

Published 05/11/2016

Attacks on the judges involved in the High Court Brexit decision have shocked many MPs.
Attacks on the judges involved in the High Court Brexit decision have shocked many MPs.
Lincolnshire Tory MP Stephen Phillips has resigned.

Labour will only let Theresa May trigger the process for leaving the European Union if she agrees to the party's "Brexit bottom line", Jeremy Corbyn has said.

The opposition will join forces with Tory Remain supporters and other parties to block Article 50 if the Prime Minister does not guarantee access to single market, the Labour leader told the Sunday Mirror.

Mr Corbyn suggested Mrs May, who has a slim Commons majority, would be forced into an early election if she fails to meet Labour demands, according to the newspaper.

The Government is appealing a High Court ruling ordering that the PM must seek MPs' approval to trigger Article 50.

Mr Corbyn told the Sunday Mirror: "The court has thrown a big spanner in the works by saying Parliament must be consulted. We accept the result of the referendum.

"We are not challenging the referendum. We are not calling for a second referendum. We're calling for market access for British industry to Europe."

The Labour leader dodged calls earlier over whether he would be happy if there was an early election but told the newspaper the party was "ready for it".

"If the Government calls an election, we're ready for it," he said.

"We have the members, the organisation and the enthusiasm. We welcome the challenge.

"It would give us the chance to put before the British people an alternative economic strategy for this country."

It comes after the PM was urged to calm the backlash sparked by the controversial High Court ruling on the process for leaving the European Union.

Former attorney general Dominic Grieve described the attacks as "chilling and outrageous" and "smacking of the fascist state".

Justice Secretary Liz Truss bowed to pressure from barristers to speak out but only went as far as saying the independence of the judiciary is the "foundation upon which our rule of law is built".

The Bar Council had urged Ms Truss to speak out as a "matter of urgency", saying: "A strong independent judiciary is essential to a functioning democracy and to upholding the rule of law."

Ms Truss said: "The independence of the judiciary is the foundation upon which our rule of law is built and our judiciary is rightly respected the world over for its independence and impartiality.

"In relation to the case heard in the High Court, the Government has made it clear it will appeal to the Supreme Court. Legal process must be followed."

But shadow justice secretary Richard Burgon said the comments were "too little, much too late" and condemned Ms Truss for "failing to adequately stand up to attacks on (the) judiciary".

"Liz Truss has still failed to condemn these attacks on the British judiciary as being 'Enemies of the People' and talk in the press of the sexuality of a judge," he said.

"I'm afraid that it's far too little, far too late from Liz Truss."

Press Association

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