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Jeremy Corbyn: Opposition MPs must unite to prevent No Deal
28 September 2019, 11:23
Jeremy Corbyn today called for opposition parties to 'come together' to prevent a No Deal Brexit and install him as a caretaker prime minister.
Mr Corbyn told LBC that the collapse of Boris Johnson's government it is a case of 'when' not if, and he was bringing opposition MPs together to prepare for a general election.
Mr Corbyn said: "The opposition parties have to come together and I’ve been bringing them together in my office frequently now in order to prevent a No Deal exit from the EU.
"When this government collapses the whole process is that the leader of the opposition is invited to form a minority interim administration in order to prevent a No Deal exit from the EU and prepare for a general election."
The SNP and Labour could team up and seek to table a confidence vote in Boris Johnson’s government next week in an effort to avoid No Deal Brexit.
The SNP wants to install Jeremy Corbyn as a caretaker prime minister in order to extend Article 50 to avoid Britain crashing out of Europe.
SNP boss Nicola Sturgeon said: "VONC (vote of no confidence), opposition unites around someone for sole purpose of securing an extension, and then immediate general election.
"Nothing is risk free but leaving Johnson in post to force through no deal - or even a bad deal - seems like a terrible idea for me."
She said that the opposition "needs to unite behind a plan and act".
Boris Johnson would have to lose a no-confidence vote before Jeremy Corbyn could gain access to No10, becoming caretaker PM prior to a general election.
Senior SNP MP Stewart Hosie said the plan aimed at thwarting a No Deal Brexit would seek to put in place an interim government to secure a Brexit extension.
He said it appeared to be the only way to ensure Britain did not "crash out" of the EU on October 31.
However, he acknowledged that in order to succeed, it would require all the opposition parties to get behind it.
But while the SNP have indicated they could support a temporary government led by Jeremy Corbyn, the Liberal Democrats and many of the Tory rebels who had the whip withdrawn have made clear they are not prepared to put the Labour leader in No 10.
Mr Hosie however warned that they may have no other option if they were serious about preventing a no-deal Brexit and securing a further extension to the Article 50 withdrawal process.
"We have to do that because there is now no confidence that the Prime Minister will obey the law and seek the extension that Parliament voted for only a few weeks ago," he said.
"If we are serious about the extension, that is the only game in town."
Mr Hosie's intervention follows talks between the opposition party leaders at Westminster aimed at preventing a no-deal break.
So far, they have been reluctant to go for a confidence vote fearing that under the terms of the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act Mr Johnson could, if he is defeated, delay a general election until after October 31 by which time Britain will be out of the EU.
The threat of a no-confidence vote raises the prospect that Tory MPs could be forced to abandon their party conference which is due to open in Manchester on Sunday.
Unusually, the Commons will be sitting while conference is taking place after MPs refused to grant the Government the customary recess in the bitter aftermath of the Supreme Court ruling that Mr Johnson's suspension of Parliament was unlawful.
Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers confirmed that they would be on standby to return to Westminster if required.
"All MPs will be available for votes in the House of Commons. We will be available to dash back if we are needed for commitments in Parliament," she told the Today programme.
However there has been speculation that Mr Johnson - who has been pressing for an election - could allow the opposition parties to win a confidence vote in order to break the deadlock at Westminster.
Whether he would be willing to do so if there was a clear plan to install an interim government led by Mr Corbyn may be another matter.