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21 Jan, 2019 12:16

‘£171,000 being spent every hour on no-deal Brexit’: Corbyn lashes out at ‘wasteful’ UK govt

‘£171,000 being spent every hour on no-deal Brexit’: Corbyn lashes out at ‘wasteful’ UK govt

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has hit out at UK govt ministers, claiming they are spending £171k ($220k) every hour on no-deal preparations, arguing that the billions being “wasted” could be used to fund essential public services.

Corbyn, who is refusing to have any discussions with PM Theresa May over Brexit until she rules out leaving the EU without a deal, claims that the Tory government has already squandered £1.9 billion ($2.4bn) on no-deal planning, The Mirror reports.

He argues that this sum of money is the equivalent to paying the annual salaries of 50,000 secondary schools teachers; 86,000 newly qualified nurses; or 49,000 police constables.

Also on rt.com Theresa May to set out Plan B before MPs as UK heads towards no-deal Brexit

The Labour leader says that “May’s no-deal threat is empty and hugely expensive.” He sees no-deal preparations as the PM’s desperate attempt to avoid her Conservative party splitting over Brexit.

“It’s a pointless and damaging attempt to appease a faction in her own party whenshe now needs to reach out to overcome this crisis,” Corbyn added.

On Monday, May will present her Brexit ‘plan B’ to parliament in a bid to garner the support of a majority of MPs to get a deal through the House of Commons, before the UK leaves the EU on March 29.

It’s been widely reported that May intends to seek further negotiations with the EU to secure the removal of the controversial Irish backstop to her current deal. Such a move is being seen as an attempt to win over the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and members of the European Research Group (ERG), the hardline Brexiteer faction of the Tory party.

May conducted a conference call with her warring cabinet ministers on Sunday evening, with some wanting the PM to rule out a no-deal Brexit scenario. The consensus view was that they needed to focus on their own MPs and the DUP and ditch any attempts at wooing Labour and other opposition parties because of their demands.

Responding to criticism from Corbyn on the billions of pounds being spent on no-deal arrangements, a UK government spokesperson told The Independent: “A responsible Government must plan for every eventuality, including a no-deal scenario. We are intensifying and accelerating no-deal planning to ensure we are fully prepared.”

The UK parliament will vote on May’s ‘plan B’ on January 29, with backbench MPs set to table a series of amendments in a bid to wrestle control of the Brexit process away from May’s government.

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