Jeremy Corbyn condemns Theresa May's Brexit 'failure' ahead of Labour EU elections manifesto launch

Posted On: 
9th May 2019

Jeremy Corbyn will hit out at Theresa May’s failure to secure Brexit on time when he launches Labour’s EU elections campaign.

Jeremy Corbyn with Labour activists following the English council elections
PA Images

The opposition leader is expected to condemn the Government’s “incompetence and division” after the Prime Minister asked Brussels to extend Britain’s stay past the original 29 March deadline.

The delay until 31 October, which came after MPs rejected Mrs May's withdrawal agreement three times, means the UK will have to take part in the European Parliament elections on 23 May.

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Addressing supporters in Kent, Mr Corbyn will say Labour's manifesto would pledge to take on the “tax dodgers, the polluters and the migrant-baiters of the far right”.

“No one expected us to be holding these European elections, but the Government’s complete failure on Brexit means they are going ahead,” he will say.

“While the Government’s incompetence and division on Brexit has created this deadlock, the injustices in our society are deepening. 

“To transform our country, and tackle injustice, inequality and the climate crisis, we need to unite the overwhelming majority of people and take on the privileged and powerful. 

Mr Corbyn will say Labour has not ruled out the option of a second referendum - but only to stop a Brexit deal that the party cannot support in Parliament.

He will brand say Labour is the “only party with a plan to unite our country” in a swipe at rivals pitching themselves as representing pro-EU or pro-Brexit voters.

“Other parties appeal to just one side of the Brexit debate because they aren't really committed to taking on the tax dodgers, the big polluters, or the financial gamblers who crashed our economy a decade ago,” he will add.

“So whether you voted Leave or Remain in 2016, I urge you to vote Labour, the party that is determined to bring the many together and take on the entrenched power of the few.”

Hopes of a joint-deal have sunk further in recent days after Labour accused the Government of not being "willing to compromise".

Meanwhile Downing Street yesterday conceded for the first time that the British MEPs elected on 23 May may have to take up their seats when the new session of the European Parliament begins on 2 July.

Ministers had hoped to have left the bloc by 30 June, which would have meant the new cohort would not have to travel to Brussels.


The Lib Dems will also reveal their manifesto today, with leader Vince Cable branding Brexit a "failed project which must now be stopped".

At an event in London tonight, he will add: “The Conservatives have let their internal feud divide the country while Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party has sat out the biggest issue facing our country in decades.

“Liberal Democrats are unambiguous and honest: we want to stop Brexit."

The manifesto will include pledges for a £7.5bn support fund for people affected by Brexit uncertainty and to allow EU citizens in the UK the ability to stand and vote in elections.

Nicola Sturgeon will also be joined by SNP MEPs today as she launches her party's European Elections manifesto.