Jeremy Corbyn urges Theresa May and EU to 'end the political games' on Brexit
Jeremy Corbyn has called on the Government and EU leaders to end “the political games” on Brexit after Theresa May demanded respect from Brussels.
The Labour leader blasted the Tory Brexit strategy as “a disaster” - as the Prime Minister came out fighting from a bruising summit with EU leaders.
Others said the hard-hitting statement from Mrs May was “dreadful” and “rang hollow” - but pro-Brexit Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg praised her “steely resolve” against the “EU bullies”.
European Council president Donald Tusk dealt a massive blow to the Prime Minister yesterday when he said her Chequers plan for Brexit “will not work”.
The dismissal left Mrs May humiliated ahead of the Conservative party conference next week, after she had appealed to EU leaders to compromise on their Brexit red lines.
In a dramatic statement in Downing Street today, Mrs May said talks had reached “an impasse,” and declared: “Throughout this process, I have treated the EU with nothing but respect. The UK expects the same.”
But Mr Corbyn said: “Theresa May’s Brexit negotiating strategy has been a disaster. The Tories have spent more time arguing among themselves than negotiating with the EU.
“From day one, the Prime Minister has looked incapable of delivering a good Brexit deal for Britain.”
He added: “The political games from both the EU and our Government need to end because no deal is not an option.”
Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the intervention from the Prime Minister was “dreadful,” as she argued the Tory leader “just hasn’t been listening” to the bloc.
“If her tactic now is to double down on the Chequers dead duck, and then blame the EU for a no deal, she will do huge damage to all those she is supposed to serve,” the SNP leader added.
The Liberal Democrats meanwhile called for parliament to be re-called. Brexit spokesperson Tom Brake said: “Two years down the line and the only consensus the PM has made across Parliament and the EU is that Chequers is unworkable.”
Pro-EU campaign group Best for Britain said the words from Mrs May “just ring hollow” and urged the Government to call a second Brexit referendum.
Ally campaign, the People’s Vote, said the surprise statement from Downing Street showed that the UK “is now heading rapidly towards a bad Brexit”.
London mayor Sadiq Khan said: “Theresa May’s approach to the negotiations has been chaotic and confused throughout. She has refused to move towards the best and most pragmatic outcome - Britain staying in both the Single Market and Customs Union.
“The Prime Minister urgently needs to change course in the negotiations before it’s too late - passing the buck to the EU to save her skin will not work.”
In her address to the nation, Mrs May rejected the preferred EU plans to keep the UK in the European Economic Area - which would keep it in the single market - or cut Northern Ireland off from Great Britain.
"Anything which fails to respect the referendum or which effectively divides our country in two would be a bad deal and I have always said no deal is better than a bad deal," she said.