Corbyn hints at fresh confidence motion if May’s Brexit deal defeated again

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA

Jeremy Corbyn has indicated he could launch a fresh bid to oust Theresa May if her Brexit deal is rejected by MPs for a third time.

The Labour leader said it would be “appropriate” to table another confidence motion in the Government at that point.

Mr Corbyn also indicated that his party could back an amendment calling for a referendum on a Brexit deal, although he would not set out which side he would be on in another public vote.

Appearing on Sky News’ Sophy Ridge On Sunday, he said: “The Government is apparently going to bring its proposals once again to Parliament this week. I suspect they will be defeated again.

Corbyn will be hoping he can force Theresa May into waving goodbye to Number 10 if her deal fails. Credit: PA

"The whole process they are doing is running down the clock.

“I think at that point a confidence motion will be appropriate. At that point we should say there has to be a general election so the people of this country can decide ‘do they want a Labour government investing in people’s communities, dealing with inequality, injustice and having a relationship with Europe that protects jobs and guarantees our trade for the future?'”

Pressed on whether a defeat on the third meaningful vote would be the trigger to launch a motion he said: “We will obviously decide the exact moment.”

Mr Corbyn stressed that Labour was “not supporting Theresa May’s deal at all because we think it’s a blindfold Brexit which will actually do enormous damage to our economy”.

But he indicated that the party could officially back an amendment tabled by backbenchers Peter Kyle and Phil Wilson who have put forward a plan to support the deal on the condition it is put to a referendum.

“We have obviously got to see the wording of it,” Mr Corbyn said.

Asked if he was “enthusiastic” about a referendum, Mr Corbyn said: “I’m enthusiastic about getting a deal with Europe which guarantees our future trading relationship and protects job and industries in this country.

“I do think people should have a choice on that.”

Challenged on whether he would vote Remain in a referendum , Mr Corbyn said: “It depends what the choice is in front of us.

“If we have got a good deal in which we can have a dynamic relationship with Europe, which is all the trading relationship and so on, then that might be a good way forward that unites the country."

Repeatedly challenged on whether he wanted to leave the EU Mr Corbyn said: “We want to have a relationship with the EU of the type I set out and people will have a choice on that.

“But there will be a credible choice in any referendum that Labour proposes.”

Mr Corbyn has written to MPs backing soft Brexit plans as well as supporters of a second referendum, inviting them for talks to find a cross-party compromise.

The Labour leader called for urgent meetings to find a “solution that ends the needless uncertainty and worry” caused by Mrs May’s “failed” Brexit negotiations.

He said Labour’s “credible” plans would form the starting point for any discussions, but he was keen to find “common ground” with supporters of other plans.

The offer has been extended to SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford, Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable, DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds, Plaid’s Liz Saville Roberts and Green MP Caroline Lucas as well as backbenchers with Brexit plans.

He's extended his offer to Westminster leaders including (left-right) Green Party's Caroline Lucas, Liberal Democrats' Vince Cable, SNP's Ian Blackford and Plaid Cymru's Liz Saville-Roberts. Credit: PA

Mr Corbyn said: “Labour has set out credible options as to how we propose to break the deadlock and avoid a disastrous no-deal.

“This includes putting forward an alternative Brexit plan with a permanent customs union, single market deal and dynamic alignment on rights and protections.

“We have also said that we would support a public vote to prevent damaging Brexit proposals being forced on the country.

“We would obviously use that position as a starting point for any discussions, but we would like to hear about the plans you are advocating, and we are keen to see if there is scope to find common ground between our respective proposals and to work together to break the impasse.”