UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (OBSERVATORY) — Jeremy Corbyn accused Boris Johnson of not having a negotiation strategy for Brexit and hiding the true consequences of leaving the EU without a deal with Brussels during their first noisy and sometimes very annoying clash during questions to the prime minister.
Johnson, who clearly could not answer any of Corbin’s direct questions, in turn accused the Labor leader of being afraid of the October 15 early elections, which should be voted on later this Wednesday.
The debate, during which Johnson was ruthlessly criticized from the opposition benches, occurred a day after the prime minister lost his working majority in parliament during a vote on a bill again postponing Brexit’s date and then expelled 21 rebellious Tories from his party.
Focusing solely on Brexit, Corbin criticized Johnson for saying that he did not have any exit plan and even no intention to draw it up, since he wants to leave the EU without a deal on October 31.
“He’s been the prime minister for six weeks now and he promised to deal with Brexit,” Corbin told the House of Commons. “For six weeks, he did not submit anything that would amend the plan of the previous prime minister, against whom he voted twice.” The talks he is talking about are fictitious. The only thing he does is take time.”
Johnson repeatedly ridiculed the Labor leader for supporting the idea of elections: “I know he is worried about free trade with America, but in this building I see only one chlorinated chicken, and he sits there on that bench.”
In accordance with the law on parliamentary acts of a fixed term, the government filed a motion to vote next month, but for this it will require the consent of two-thirds of the members of parliament. The Labor Party said that they were not going to support such an idea this Wednesday, as they wanted to get a guarantee first that Brexit would not be without a deal with Brussels.
A parliamentary bill to defer Brexit until at least January 31 will also be discussed by deputies on Wednesday before he leaves for the Upper House.
Johnson called it “the bill of surrender” several times, using this populist expression to draw attention to the fact that the EU may set an alternative date for the extension of the term – albeit only with the approval of the House of Commons.
He repeated his accusations, saying that by supporting the bill, the Labor Party was undermining the government’s position in the Brexit negotiations. Corbin replied: “I don’t understand how you can accuse me of interfering with negotiations when there are no negotiations at all.”
Asking questions, Corbin repeatedly wondered what new proposals, if any, Johnson and his team presented in Brussels to review the terms of the Brexit deal, in particular, for example, regarding a change in security policy for the Irish borders.
“If the Prime Minister believes that he is making progress, why not publish the proposals that he has put forward in order to get off the ground?” Corbin asked. Johnson replied to the taunts of the Labor Party: “As the honorable gentleman knows, we do not negotiate publicly, and we have significant progress.”
Corbin also demanded that Johnson publish an official government assessment of the consequences of leaving the EU without a deal, saying that the public has the right to know, for example, about rising food prices and lack of medicines.
Johnson replied: “I am afraid the honorable gentleman fell into a shameless panic. We are well prepared to exit the EU. His party insists only on even greater delays and uncertainties for the business.”
Corbin said: “Being on his third day in office, he never answered any of my five questions. I understand why he is desperately trying to avoid checking. He has no plan for a new deal, no mandate, and no majority.”
“If the prime minister does what he has done with his party in the last 24 hours with the country, I think that many people will be afraid of something because of his incompetence, insecurity and unwillingness to disclose the famous consequences of Brexit without a deal.”
Johnson replied: “I do not understand how a respectable gentleman with such a serious face can accuse someone of not wanting to be checked when he himself does not want to submit his bill of surrender to the court of people during the elections. He is scared.”
This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for OBSERVATORY NEWS from different countries around the world – material edited and published by OBSERVATORY staff in our newsroom.
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