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Jeremy Corbyn calls for general elections after second big Brexit defeat for May

Devdiscourse News Desk london United Kingdom
Updated: 13-03-2019 18:37 IST
Jeremy Corbyn calls for general elections after second big Brexit defeat for May

Image Credit: Wikimedia

Opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has demanded a general election after embattled Prime Minister Theresa May's second major parliamentary defeat on the Brexit, saying she must let the people decide who should lead them into the next phase of the UK's divorce deal with the EU. He also pledged that his party would vote against a no-deal Brexit outcome in Wednesday's vote and signalled that he would continue to press for a customs union with the 28-member European Union.

"The prime minister has run down the clock and the clock has been run out on her," the 69-year-old leader said in the House of Commons. "It's time that we have a general election and the people can choose who their government should be," Corbyn said on Tuesday after May suffered a humiliating 391 to 242 defeat when her Brexit deal was rejected by Parliament for a second time.

In January, May's Brexit plan was rejected by the MPs with a 230-vote margin. But despite Corbyn's call for fresh poll, the party is understood to not have immediate plans to call for a vote of no confidence that could precipitate what would be the third general election in four years.

The UK went to polls last in June 2017. The opposition will initially focus on opposing no deal – which is expected to be defeated on Wednesday – and believes that an extension to the March 29 deadline is inevitable because more time is needed to negotiate an alternative, the Guardian reported.

But Corbyn made no mention of a second referendum – which the party is theoretically committed to supporting if it cannot secure a general election – in his remarks after the vote, and hardly referred to it in his earlier speech in the Commons debate, it noted. "If this deal narrowly scrapes through tonight – I don't think it will – we believe the option should be to go back to the people for a confirmatory vote on it," Corbyn said, suggesting there is little sign that Labour will reactivate the idea soon.

(With inputs from agencies.)

COUNTRY : United Kingdom