In a bid to rule out a disastrous no deal Brexit, Jeremy Corbyn has put forward plans to make himself a caretaker Prime Minister after forcing out Boris Johnson with a no confidence vote when MPs return to parliament next week.
Writing to fellow opposition party leaders, as well as senior rebel Conservative MPs, Corbyn said he would become PM for a “strictly time-limited” period in order to prevent a cliff edge Brexit and call a general election.
In an interview yesterday (August 14), Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said Labour’s policy of opposing no deal was “perfectly correct” and expressed confidence in the party’s ability to win a general election.
In the letter to opposition MPs, Corbyn wrote, “Following a successful vote of no confidence in the Government, I would then, as Leader of the Opposition, seek the confidence of the House for a strictly time-limited temporary government with the aim of calling a General Election, and securing the necessary extension of Article 50 to do so.
“In that General Election, Labour will be committed to a public vote on the terms of leaving the European Union, including an option to Remain.”
The SNP, Plaid and Greens, as well as Tory rebel MPs, have indicated that they will meet with Corbyn to discuss preventing a no deal Brexit.
Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson’s outright dismissal of the plans has resulted in an online petition calling on the party to back a temporary Corbyn government to block a no deal exit from the EU.
Labour’s proposal comes as fear mounts that Johnson, who has vowed to leave the EU by October 31 “do or die”, is leading the UK over a cliff edge – with farmers whose livelihoods risk being destroyed by no deal herding sheep through Whitehall today (August 15) in protest at the government’s stance.
Speaking to the BBC’s World at One yesterday, Len McCluskey skewered arguments that no deal will put an end to the Brexit process, pointing out that a deal with EU will still be needed even if UK crashes out in October.
“The important thing for me is to hold a clear vision of the type of Britain we want to be and the relationship we have with Europe because, come 31 October, if we leave without a deal there is still going to be debate and discussion of trade deals and about what kind of relationships we have,” McCluskey said.
“If we have a general election before 31 October then Labour can take a programme to the nation that demonstrates they are speaking for everyone and in doing that I believe they will win power.
“Ordinary working people will say that they don’t trust Boris Johnson or the Liberals and that it’s only Labour and Jeremy Corbyn that gives us that honest approach and hope for our kids’ future.”