Jeremy Corbyn lays into Theresa May over Boris Johnson and David Davis resignations

Posted On: 
9th July 2018

Jeremy Corbyn today tore into Theresa May as he mocked the Brexit turmoil in Government that saw two major players dramatically quit their posts.

Jeremy Corbyn went for Theresa May in the Commons today
Parliament TV

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Brexit Secretary David Davis stormed out of the Cabinet in protest at the Brexit blueprint the Prime Minister presented to them on Friday.

The Labour leader said there were “ministers overboard and the ship is listing - all at the worst possible time”.

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Mrs May also faced attacks from her pro-Brexit backbenchers, as she assured them: “This is not a betrayal.”

Anti-EU Tories were left outraged at the agreement hammered out by ministers at Chequers, which commits Britain to a soft Brexit including an acceptance of EU rules on goods.

Cabinet ministers kept their powder dry for some 48 hours before Mr Davis stunned Westminster by quitting late last night - only to be followed out by Mr Johnson this afternoon.

In the Commons, Mr Corbyn said: “We have a crisis in the Government: two Secretaries of State have resigned and still we are no clearer on what our future relationship with our nearest neighbours and biggest trading partners will look like.


He jibed: “I’m sure they would have resigned on the spot on Friday but faced with a very long walk, no phone and, due to Government cuts, no local bus service, they were probably wise to hold on for a few days so at least they could get a lift home.”

The Labour leader went on: “This mess is all of the PM’s own making. Far from strong and stable, there are ministers overboard and the ship is listing - all at the worst possible time.”

And he fumed: “It is clear this government is not capable of securing a deal to protect the economy, jobs and living standards.

“It is clear this government cannot secure a good deal for Britain.”


Meanwhile, Mrs May faced a barrage of concerns from her own pro-Brexit backbenchers, who fear they have been sold out by the plans for a soft Brexit.

Tory grandee Edward Leigh said: “The EU says they won’t tolerate cherry picking. Well what I fear is we have picked the wrong cherry for this reason…

“That by accepting a common rulebook in goods we are locking ourselves into a sclerotic structure where the EU has an overwhelming trading surplus.”

Tory MP Peter Bone meanwhile said local activists told him they felt “betrayed” and refused to go out campaigning at the weekend.

But the Prime Minister shot back: “I’m very sorry that his activists did not feel able to go out and campaign…

“This is not a betrayal. We will end free movement, we will end the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice, we will stop sending vast sums of money to the EU every year.

“We will come out of the Common Agricultural Policy, we will come out of the Common Fisheries Policy.

“That is what people voted for when they voted to leave and we will deliver in faith with the British people.”


But pro-EU Tory MPs lavished praise on the Prime Minister, including former business minister Anna Soubry, who declared: “Can I congratulate her on her leadership.”

Ex-Cabinet minister Nicky Morgan meanwhile added: "I want to support the position that the PM achieved with the Cabinet on Friday at Chequers."