Theresa May: Labour and Lib Dems not backing 'Team UK' over Brexit

Posted On: 
5th December 2016

Theresa May has accused Labour and the Lib Dems of trying to "frustrate the will of the British people" by slowing down the UK's exit from the European Union.

Theresa May has suggested Labour and the Lib Dems are not part of 'Team UK' on Brexit
PA Images

In an outspoken attack, the Prime Minister's official spokeswoman suggested the opposition parties were not "backing the UK team" as it prepares to enter Brexit negotiations with EU leaders next year.

The comments came after Jeremy Corbyn revealed at the weekend that Labour would table amendments to any bill the Government brings forward on the triggering of Article 50.

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The Lib Dems have also said they will vote against that bill unless it includes a promise to hold a second referendum on the Brexit deal Mrs May reaches with her EU counterparts.

But the Prime Minister's spokeswoman said: "While others are seeming to make clear that they want to frustrate the will of the British people by slowing down the process of leaving and trying to tie the Government's hand in the negotiation, the Government is getting on with respecting what the British people decided and making a success of Brexit.

"If you are backing the UK team you want them to be able to go into the negotiation and get the best deal possible."


Speaking to Sky News on Saturday, Mr Corbyn said: "When the Article 50 debate comes up, we will put forward an amendment to it, about market access and protections. We want those to be part of the negotiations.

"We are respecting the result of the referendum. It might not be the one we wanted but it's the one we've got."

The Labour leader also refused to rule out backing a second referendum on the Brexit deal - but insisted he did not want to frustrate the process.

He said: "Two-thirds of Labour voters voted to remain. There isn't a blank cheque to the Government - it's up to parliament to hold the Government to account. That is exactly what we are doing.

"Article 50 will still be invoked. We are not going to block it. We don't think it's right to do that.

"But I do think there may well be a considerable body of MPs on both sides who would support an amendment which does require a trade agreement with Europe in the future."