Theresa May: People’s jobs and futures are in your hands over Brexit

Theresa May, Brexit, Article 50, Economy, Employment

Theresa May warned people’s jobs and futures are in the hands of every MP as she faced fresh demands to stop a no-deal Brexit.

The Prime Minister hit back at Jeremy Corbyn after the Labour leader urged her to “stop playing games” with people’s livelihoods and make it clear that the UK will not leave the EU without an agreement.

Mrs May also attempted to play on splits within the Opposition – while ignoring resignations from her own party – as she claimed Labour heroes Clement Attlee and Aneurin Bevan would be “spinning in their grave” at what Mr Corbyn has “done to a once proud Labour Party”.

She added: “We will never let him do it to our country.”

Former Labour and Tory MPs who quit to form the “Independent Group” took their seats in the Commons near the DUP.

Brexit once again dominated the leaders’ exchanges at Prime Minister’s Questions as exit day on March 29 nears.

At one stage Mr Corbyn pointed to no-deal Brexit concerns voiced by Conservative ministers, adding: “People’s jobs and livelihoods are in the Prime Minister’s hands.

“Will she stop playing games with people’s jobs and make it very clear that no-deal is absolutely ruled out?”

Mrs May replied: “People’s jobs and futures are in the hands of every member of this House.”

She said there are two ways to stop a no-deal Brexit – supporting her deal or revoking Article 50 – and pressed Mr Corbyn to tell the Commons what his preferred policy is.

Mr Corbyn earlier criticised Mrs May’s Brexit negotiating tactics, noting last week that an EU official said the UK Government was “only pretending to negotiate and there was nothing on the table from the British side”.

He asked: “So with just 37 days to go, can the Prime Minister be clear, what will she actually be proposing today when she travels to Brussels?”

Mrs May said: “The issue that I’m taking to Brussels is the one that I’ve been talking to EU leaders about over the last few days and that is the concern that was expressed in this House of ensuring that we could not find ourselves in the current backstop indefinitely.”

She said there were a “number of ways” that are being discussed to make the changes to the Brexit deal, with talks due to continue ahead of another vote in Parliament later this month.

Mr Corbyn hit back, saying it “sounds like it might be confusing for the European Union to understand exactly what the Prime Minister is turning up with”.

In his concluding remarks, the Opposition leader also said: “Little more than a month to go and this Government has failed to put the country first.

“The crisis of jobs going, industries under threat and the Prime Minister indulges in what her own business minister called fanciful nonsense. When is she going to put the interests of the people of this country before the interests of the Conservative Party?”

Mrs May claimed Mr Corbyn has “consistently” put his party political interest ahead of the national interest as she also urged MPs to back her Brexit deal.

She added: “At every stage he has acted to frustrate a deal, he has acted to make no-deal more likely but that’s not surprising from this Labour Party.

“What do we see from his Labour Party? Hamas and Hezbollah friends, Israel and the United States enemies, Hatton a hero, Churchill a villain – Attlee and Bevan would be spinning in their grave.

“That’s what (Mr Corbyn) has done to a once proud Labour Party, we will never let him do it to our country.”

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