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Corbyn assembles opposition MPs in bid to block no-deal Brexit

The Labour leader has written to senior politicians opposed to a no-deal Brexit.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has called a meeting to try to stop a no-deal Brexit (Joe Giddens/PA)
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has called a meeting to try to stop a no-deal Brexit (Joe Giddens/PA)

By George Ryan, PA Political Reporter

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has invited senior politicians to a meeting to discuss averting a no-deal Brexit.

In a letter, Mr Corbyn said: “The country is heading into a constitutional and political storm, so it is vital that we meet urgently, before Parliament returns.

“The chaos and dislocation of Boris Johnson’s no-deal Brexit is real and threatening, as the Government’s leaked Operation Yellowhammer dossier makes crystal clear. That’s why we must do everything we can to stop it.”

The meeting is scheduled to take place on August 27 at 12pm.

A Labour spokesperson said Mr Corbyn has “postponed international commitments to continue his push to block a damaging no-deal Brexit” – the Labour leader was expected to visit Ghana in West Africa next week.

The letter is addressed to SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford, Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson, Commons Plaid Cymru leader Liz Saville Roberts, Green Party MP Caroline Lucas, Change UK leader Anna Soubry.

Remain-backing Tory MPs Guto Bebb, Dominic Grieve, Oliver Letwin and Caroline Spelman are also copied in, as is former Conservative minister Nick Boles, who resigned the whip in opposition to the Government’s approach to Brexit.

Conservative Party chairman James Cleverly accused Mr Corbyn of trying to “dither and delay” Brexit.

Mr Cleverly said: “Jeremy Corbyn will do all he can to stop delivering on the referendum result.

“The alternative to delivering Brexit is Jeremy Corbyn as prime minister, a man who would wreck the economy, is soft on crime and won’t stand up for Britain. All Jeremy Corbyn offers is more dither and delay.

“Only Boris Johnson and the Conservatives can provide the leadership Britain needs and deliver Brexit by October 31, whatever happens.”

Mr Blackford, however, said Scotland “did not vote for Brexit” and would not be left at the “whim of Westminster”.

He said: “Boris Johnson is taking the UK towards a Brexit disaster. With time running out, it is now vital that MPs take every step necessary to stop Brexit and block a catastrophic No-Deal.

“All options must be on the table. The SNP stands ready to pursue every avenue, including passing legislation to block no-deal and a vote of no confidence in the Tory government.

“Any form of Brexit would be devastating for Scotland, and crashing out of the EU with no deal threatens to destroy 100,000 jobs and cost every person in the country £2,300 a year.

“Scotland did not vote for Brexit and we will not be left at the whim of Westminster. People in Scotland deserve the choice of a better future than the Brexit Britain being imposed on us.

“It is clearer than ever that the only way to properly protect Scotland’s interests is by becoming an equal and independent European country. Preparations for a fresh referendum will continue so the people of Scotland will have that choice.”

Mr Corbyn wrote to senior opposition politicians last week and outlined proposals to call a vote of no confidence in the Government in the autumn.

Under the proposals, Mr Corbyn would lead a “time-limited” government which would extend Article 50 and call a general election.

This was met with fierce opposition from the Lib Dems, with new leader Ms Swinson saying Mr Corbyn was too divisive to lead a government of national unity.

She instead suggested senior Conservative and Labour backbenchers Ken Clarke and Harriet Harman could take the helm instead.

PA

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