European Union (Withdrawal)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 7:00 pm on 3rd September 2019.

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Photo of Jeremy Corbyn Jeremy Corbyn Leader of Her Majesty's Official Opposition, Leader of the Labour Party 7:00 pm, 3rd September 2019

I thank the hon. Gentleman for that intervention. The only problem is that it flies in the face of all the facts that are published day in, day out. The value of the pound is falling and manufacturing industry is falling, and I will come on to a number of other industries that are seriously at threat.

I pay tribute to those people across all parties who have come together and continued to work to make a stand against this Government’s reckless and shambolic approach. The Prime Minister says that now is not the time for Parliament to make this stand. He says the chances of a Brexit deal are improving and that the outlines of an agreement are in the making, yet all the evidence points to the contrary. So far, in their six weeks in office, this Government have spent more time trying to avoid scrutiny and trying to silence Parliament than focusing on getting a good deal for this country. With weeks to go until we crash out of the European Union, they have failed to bring forward any new proposals, especially with regard to the Irish backstop.

Even if the Government had worked up new plans or presented a way forward, it seems very unlikely that the EU would agree to the Prime Minister’s red line of scrapping the backstop. As the Attorney General reportedly put it, such a proposition would be a “complete fantasy.” The reality is that no progress has been made in Brussels, nor is there likely to be. This reckless Government only have one plan: to crash out of the EU without a deal, at whatever price to our industry, to people’s jobs and to people’s living standards.