Jeremy Corbyn faces ‘Czech’ jibe after warning of Brexit ‘road to nowhere’
Prime Minister Theresa May made light of allegations about the Labour leader’s Cold War past.
Theresa May mocked Jeremy Corbyn over allegations he was in contact with a Cold War spy amid claims the Government is “on the road to nowhere” over Brexit.
Mrs May said the Labour leader normally asks her to “sign a blank cheque” at Prime Minister’s Questions, adding: “I know he likes Czechs.”
Mr Corbyn appeared to pretend to yawn following the joke.
He has flatly denied reports that he was a spy for communist Czechoslovakia during the Cold War, describing claims, which originally appeared in The Sun, that he passed information to an agent of the Czech StB intelligence agency during the 1980s as “nonsense”.
The Prime Minister’s jibe over the allegations came after Mr Corbyn focused his contributions at PMQs on Brexit.
Mr Corbyn opened by joking: “Yesterday the Brexit Secretary assured the country that Brexit will not plunge Britain into a Mad Max-style world borrowed from dystopian fiction.
“Doesn’t the Prime Minister feel he could set the bar just a little bit higher?”
Mrs May said the UK wants to “take back control of our borders, our money and our laws” via Brexit, adding: “The only fiction around in relation to Brexit and the European Union is the Labour Party’s frontbench who can’t even agree with themselves what their policy is.”
Mr Corbyn claimed the Government had “abandoned” its position of seeking tariff-free trade with Europe and replaced it with “as tariff-free as possible”, something Mrs May rejected.
The Labour leader later asked: “Could the Prime Minister take this opportunity now to tell the House and the country what is the Government’s desired outcome?”
Mrs May snapped back: “I’m very happy to – a bespoke economic partnership.”
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s first question is on David Davis’s “Mad Max” Brexit speech. He asks the Prime Minister if she feels he could set the bar a little higher #PMQs— Harriet Line (@HarriLine) February 21, 2018
After Mrs May played down concerns about the potential for a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, Mr Corbyn said: “The Foreign Secretary (Boris Johnson) recently made a speech about Brexit and he found time to mention carrots, Spam, V-signs, stag parties and a plague of boils. Not one mention of Northern Ireland in his speech.”
Shouts of “What about the IRA?” could be heard in the chamber, before Mr Corbyn added: “We’re halfway through the six speeches we were told would set out the Government’s negotiating position.
“So far, all we’ve had is waffle and empty rhetoric. Businesses need to know, people want to know, even her backbenchers are demanding to know – but it isn’t clear from today’s exchanges.
“This Government isn’t on the road to Brexit, Mr Speaker, it’s on the road to nowhere.”
Huge cheers after Mrs May’s answer to Corbyn’s final question, she says each week Corbyn asks her to give a blank cheque - she says I know how much he likes those...— Dan O'Donoghue (@MrDanDonoghue) February 21, 2018
Mrs May doubted that Mr Corbyn had asked a question, before insisting the UK was “unconditionally committed to the safety and security” of Europe.
She added: “Can I congratulate (Mr Corbyn) because normally he stands up every week and asks me to sign a blank cheque, and I know he likes Czechs…”