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Early Parliamentary General Election (No. 2)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:06 pm on 9th September 2019.

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Photo of Jeremy Corbyn Jeremy Corbyn Leader of Her Majesty's Official Opposition, Leader of the Labour Party 11:06 pm, 9th September 2019

The point I was making was that this will be against a backdrop of unemployment, increasing deindustrialisation and deepening poverty within our society, so it is not surprising that the Government were so keen to hide the Yellowhammer documents—their own documents—which would demonstrate that to be the case. We have no faith that the Government are seeking a deal in good faith. Indeed, the former Work and Pensions Secretary said in her resignation letter:

“I no longer believe leaving with a deal is the government’s main objective.”

EU leaders have received no proposals. Government Ministers have offered no explanation of the deal they are seeking—even if there is such a deal—let alone any worked-out proposals to be presented to Parliament for scrutiny. It is no wonder they are so keen to prorogue so early, to avoid any scrutiny of what they are doing.

The only conclusion that can be reached—and it is backed up by all the leaked reports in the press—is that the Government’s pretensions to negotiate are nothing but a sham. The Prime Minister knows full well that there is no mandate for no deal, no majority support for it in the country and no majority support for it in this House, but he refuses to rule it out and refuses to set out any proposals to avoid it. This is a very serious issue: the Prime Minister is running away from scrutiny with his blather and his shouting. Many people, including Amber Rudd, are increasingly coming to the conclusion that no deal is his only answer, but he has no mandate for that. The last general election gave no mandate for no deal, and the 2016 referendum gives no mandate for it. The co-convenor of the Vote Leave campaign said in March this year that

“we didn’t vote to leave without a deal.”

He is now the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. No deal is opposed by every business group, every industry group and every trade union, and it has been opposed in votes in this House.

I want to turf out this reckless Government—[Interruption.] This Government that are driving up poverty, deepening inequality, scapegoating migrants, whipping up divisions and failing this country. A general election is not something for the Prime Minister to play about with for propaganda points, or even his very poor quality posts on social media, so perhaps he can, possibly for the last time in this Session of Parliament, answer some questions. First—[Interruption.]