UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s plan to enter into cross-party Brexit discussions without the official opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn, has been widely condemned by MPs and political commentators on social media.
In the immediate aftermath of the crushing defeat of her Brexit deal in the House of Commons on Tuesday, May stated that she would now seek cross-party talks with senior politicians to find “genuinely negotiable” solutions which she can take to EU negotiators.
One of those senior politicians who wont be included in talks with the PM is the Labour leader, according to the leader of the house, Andrea Leadsom. In an interview with BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Leadsom dismissed any notion that Corbyn would be invited to discuss the best way forward.
Andrea Leadsom on Corbyn: “He needs to come to the table and tell us what he wants to do.”
John Humphrys: “He hasn’t been invited to the table.”
And it’s true. May will meet ‘senior Parliamentarians’, but not Corbyn. At least not today.@BBCr4today
— Paul Waugh (@paulwaugh) January 16, 2019
Sounds like Govt’s definition of “senior parliamentarians” does not include Jeremy Corbyn
— norman smith (@BBCNormanS) January 16, 2019
She insisted Corbyn had an opportunity in parliament on Tuesday to lay out “his alternative proposals,” claiming “he clearly has none.”
The apparent sidelining of the Labour leader has provoked heavy criticism from some notable MPs, particularly those so-called “senior politicians” the PM could be potentially seeking out for talks.
Andrea Leadsom making a mockery of Theresa May’s proposal for cross party talks this morning. Ludicrous & unworkable if PM won’t even talk to @jeremycorbyn & other party leaders. PM has to accept she failed by 230 votes – she can’t just keep digging in
— Yvette Cooper (@YvetteCooperMP) January 16, 2019
MPs such as Yvette Cooper, Labour chair of the Commons home affairs committee, who has taken to social media to label May’s cross-party proposals without Corbyn as “ludicrous & unworkable.”
Former Labour leader Ed Miliband has claimed any talks without the official opposition leader would demonstrate “a woeful failure” by the PM “to rise to the moment.” Other MPs and political commentators were quick to denounce May’s planned discussions.
Refusing to talk to the Leader of the Opposition and sticking to failed red lines would be a woeful failure to rise to the moment. Strongly urge the Prime Minister to try and do so.
— Ed Miliband (@Ed_Miliband) January 16, 2019
So according to Andrea Leadsom the Prime Minister is going to ‘reach out’ by talking to practically no one.
— Pete Wishart (@PeteWishart) January 16, 2019
Andrea Leadsom claims on @bbcr4today that the Government has been collaborating across the House on Brexit. What nonsense. Then makes clear that Corbyn isn’t being asked to any talks.
— Jenni Russell (@jennirsl) January 16, 2019
It comes after UK MPs voted down May’s Brexit plan on Tuesday by 432 votes to 202 – a margin of 230 – the worst defeat for any British government in over 100 years.
The EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier has told the European Parliament that the risk of no deal on Brexit has never been higher, and that he fears “more than ever” a chaotic UK departure from the bloc.
If May thought she might find some words of comfort from EU leaders after her humiliating defeat, then she would have been left feeling disappointed, following French President Emmanuel Macron’s comments on Wednesday. He has insisted that the EU has “reached the maximum” of what it can offer the UK and will not compromise European interests for the sake of resolving a British political crisis.
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