From ‘zombie govt’ to ‘pure robotic fantasy’: Parliament debates no-confidence vote (VIDEO)
Opening a debate on a no-confidence motion due to be held in the British parliament on Wednesday, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said Prime Minister Theresa is running a "zombie government."
Corbyn tabled the no-confidence motion on Tuesday evening following a massive defeat for May after her Brexit deal, painstakingly negotiated with Brussels, was voted down in the House of Commons by a huge margin of more than 200 votes.
The Labour leader said May had wasted two years with her "doomed strategy" and that any prime minister who loses such an important vote should step down.
Corbyn said that May's Conservative Party was "fundamentally split" on Brexit meaning it was unable to govern the country at a time of crisis. He said the blame for the mess lies with May and confirmed that she had not invited him to cross-party Brexit talks.
May's decision to exclude Corbyn from cross-party talks after the Tuesday vote was widely condemned by MPs and political commentators on social media.
Asked by Liberal Democrat Alistair Carmichael if he would support a "people's vote" on the Brexit deal currently on offer, Corbyn said that "all options" would be on the table, but rejected the possibility of a no-deal Brexit.
During the debate, Corbyn said there is "no majority for this government's Brexit deal and there is no majority either for a no-deal scenario," which he said would be a "catastrophe."
Instead, the Labour leader said the "best outcome" would be to hold a general election. An election, he said, would give "new impetus" to Brexit negotiations and bring "fresh ideas" to the issues faced by the British people.Also on rt.com Theresa May keeps attacking Jeremy Corbyn, plans to sideline him from cross-party Brexit talks
Responding to Corbyn, May said that a general election is the "worst thing" that could happen and would create "division when we need unity" and "chaos when we need certainty."
May said a second referendum on Brexit was not an option and that there was "no indication" that a new vote would solve the crisis faced by the country. May suggested that regardless of how good any Brexit deal was, Corbyn would still vote against it.
She said that all Labour and Corbyn had offered on Brexit are "vague aspirations" rather than specific suggestions. May also accused Corbyn of tolerating anti-semitism in the Labour Party.
Corbyn has previously adamantly denied accusations that he holds anti-semitic views, saying he has spent his "whole life" fighting discrimination and racism.
SNP’s @StewartMcDonald nails it when he accuses PM of “pure robotic fantasy”. He asks which of red lines she’s willing to compromise on to get her deal through. Her reply: the same old line about her principles 🙄— Pippa Crerar (@PippaCrerar) January 16, 2019
During the debate, SNP Party MP Stewart McDonald said May was engaging in "pure robotic fantasy" regarding the viability of her Brexit deal.
Labour MP Angela Eagle said that despite suffering a resounding defeat on Tuesday, May was coming to parliament with "the same lines" and making the same assertions "like the vote never happened."
Pro-EU Tory Ken Clarke said he didn't believe British people voted for Brexit specifically to leave the EU customs union. May countered to say that people voted for Brexit in order for the UK to be able to strike its own trade deals, while still maintaining a close trading partnership with Europe.
Extraordinary: Downing Street spokesman rules out giving an inch on a customs union - “The principles that govern us as we go into these talks is that we want to be able to do our own trade deals, and that is incompatible with either the or a customs union”.— Heather Stewart (@GuardianHeather) January 16, 2019
While May was speaking, a government spokesperson outside the chamber told the Guardian that remaining within the customs union was "incompatible"with negotiating the country's own trade deals.
The SNP's Ian Blackford said the actions of May's government had "reinforced the case for Scotland to be an independent country" and that London "completely ignores the wishes" of the Scottish people who voted to remain within the EU. Blackford also called on Corbyn and the Labour Party to stop sitting "on the fence" and join the SNP in calling for a "people's vote"on the Brexit deal.
The no-confidence motion is scheduled to take place at 7pm on Wednesday. It is widely expected that May will survive the vote, with Tory MPs who voted against her Brexit deal on Tuesday still likely to support her remaining in power.
British journalist Neil Clark told RT that keeping Corbyn away from power is really the "number-one priority" for Tories. The Tory rebels "tend to disapper when there is a chance of government failing," Clark said. "It would be like turkeys voting for Christmas."
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