WATCH: Jeremy Corbyn blasts Tory 'failure' as Brexit dominates leaders' New Year messages

Posted On: 
31st December 2018

All three main opposition leaders have now released their New Year messages to a grateful nation, with Britain's impending exit from the EU looming large. PoliticsHome has the round-up.

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Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn's message goes big on Conservative "failure" - but it's also a bid to appeal to both Leavers and Remainers who aren't exactly thrilled with Theresa May's Brexit deal.

He says: "There's so much talent across Britain but we're being held back by a system that for far too long has only served a privileged few.

"And now the Conservatives have plunged the country into crisis over the complete mess they've made of Brexit, trying to drive through a bad deal and letting people down all across the country whether they voted Leave or Remain.

"Eight years of damaging Tory failure has left us with a divided country where millions are struggling to make ends meet, where so many can't afford a home to call their own, where older people are deprived of the dignity they deserve and far too many are working in low paid and insecure jobs.

"We cannot go on like this. Labour is ready to deliver a radical alternative to rebuild and transform our country.

"We'll stand up to the powerful few so that the wealth you create is shared fairly not hoarded by a privileged elite.

"We'll work to create a society where the talent of everyone is unleashed. That's how we'll unite our country."

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon meanwhile vows to keep fighting against Brexit, which was rejected by large numbers of voters north of the border in 2016.

"In the year ahead, the Scottish government will continue to do everything we can to protect Scotland's place at the heart of Europe," she says.

"However, whatever the outcome of Brexit, Scotland will always offer a warm welcome to the world.

"In fact, our reputation for being an open, warm-hearted, hospitable country has never been more important.

"I want to make that especially clear to the hundreds of thousands of nationals from other European Union countries, who have done us the honour of choosing Scotland as their home.

"I know that this is a deeply uncertain time for you. But I also want you to know that your contribution to our national life - to our economy, communities and society - is hugely valued. You will always be welcome here."

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable meanwhile ramps up the rhetoric, warning that politicians now have just "90 days to change the course of this country" and pointing to a second Brexit referendum as "the only way forward".

He asks: "Are we going to make a terrible mistake, leaving behind our influence in Europe's most successful peace project and the world's biggest marketplace?

"Or are the British people, in the final hours, going to be given a chance to reconsider in light of all the facts which have come to the surface in the last two years?

"The only way forward is to have a People's Vote, with the option to Remain.”

Theresa May’s own New Year message is expected to be published later tonight.