Corbyn calls for early recall of Parliament over Brexit

Corbyn calls for early recall of Parliament over Brexit
By Emma Beswick with Reuters
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Corbyn calls for early recall of Parliament over Brexit

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British opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn on Monday said he supported recalling Parliament to deal with the Brexit crisis.

The Labour Party chief, however, did not answer a question about whether he would step down as leader.

"We do support the recall of parliament in order to prevent the prime minister having some kind of manoeuvre to take us out on the 31st of October without any further discussion in parliament," Corbyn said at a party event Northamptonshire.

He added his party "will do everything to stop a no-deal Brexit," but when asked if he would consider stepping aside to do so he replied: "There seems to be an awful lot of very imaginative what-iffery in the press at the present time."

"I am the leader of the opposition, the leader of the Labour Party. All the constitutional precedents are when a government collapses, it's the leader of the opposition that takes over," he added.

Corbyn said Parliament was facing a "political and constitutional storm" when it returned in September, provoked by the Conservative Party's "lurch to the hard right".

He urged lawmakers that were "serious" about blocking a no-deal Brexit to vote to bring down the government in a no-confidence vote, saying Labour would form a time-limited government to avoid leaving the EU without a deal.

Corbyn's comments came a day after leaked official documents forecast possible food, fuel, and medicine shortages as consequences of a no-deal Brexit.

Number 10 said the document, leaked to the Sunday Times, was “out of date”.

New Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said Britain will leave the European Union, with or without a transition deal, on the October 31 deadline.

He has called for the EU to renegotiate the existing exit deal but has so far been rejected by Brussels.

At an interview shortly after Corbyn's comments, Johnson said that the EU would have to compromise for there to be a Brexit deal.

When he was asked if progress would be made during talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron at the G7 summit later this week, he said it was "very much up to our friends and I hope that they will compromise".

"They have seen that the UK parliament has three times rejected the withdrawal agreement, the backstop just doesn’t work, it’s not democratic and I hope that they will see fit to compromise but in the meantime, we get ready to come out on October 31."

Parliament is not due to sit until September 3 when it will reconvene for a short session before breaking up again to allow for annual party conferences.

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