Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn delivers the keynote speech during the Labour Party annual conference on September 26, 2018 in Liverpool, England. (Photo: Anthony Devlin/Getty Images)

Brexit Chaos: With Tory Government in Shambles, Jeremy Corbyn Demands Theresa May Withdraw 'Half-Baked' Brexit Deal

Labour leader warns Prime Minister's deal "risks leaving the country in an indefinite halfway house without a real say."

Jake Johnson

As U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May's attempts to negotiate a Brexit deal with the European Union descended into complete chaos on Thursday after her Brexit secretary and other key ministers resigned over a newly released draft agreement, Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn demanded from the floor of the House of Commons that May immediately withdraw the "half-baked deal" that doesn't have the support of the Tory Cabinet, the Parliament, or the nation as a whole.

"The government... is in chaos. Their deal risks leaving the country in an indefinite halfway house without a real say," Corbyn declared. "When even the Brexit Secretary who, theoretically at least, negotiated the deal says 'I cannot support the proposed deal,' what faith does that give anyone else in this place or in the country?"

"The government," he added, "simply cannot put to parliament this half-baked deal that both the Brexit Secretary and his predecessor have rejected."

The 585-page Brexit draft agreement released on Wednesday was the culmination of over a year of tumultuous negotiations that began after the British people voted by a small margin for a 2016 referendum to leave the E.U.

From the inception of Brexit talks, the Labour Party has made clear that any deal that doesn't meet a high standard of protections for workers in all regions of the U.K. would be emphatically rejected.

"All Labour MPs must now follow Jeremy Corbyn, stand up to May, and vote down the deal."
—Momentum
In an interview on Wednesday, Corbyn said he doesn't believe the draft deal "is in the national interest."

As May worked fervently to reassure the British public that the negotiations with the European Union are going according to plan and tamped down talks of a possible second Brexit referendum, the left-wing advocacy group Momentum began circulating a petition urging all Labour members of parliament to follow Corbyn's lead and "vote down the deal."

"After two years of bungled negotiations and chaos inside her cabinet, Theresa May has finally cobbled together a Brexit deal. But between the warring factions inside her party and the hardline [Democratic Unionist Party], May cannot get her deal through parliament," the petition notes. "This means she has only one option: targeting Labour MPs to persuade them to save her government by voting for her botched Tory Brexit."

"But Jeremy Corbyn has been clear," the petition concludes. "This half-baked Brexit deal fails Labour's six tests, will be a disaster for our country and puts jobs, rights, and living standards at risk. Labour Party conference committed the party to voting down any Tory Brexit deal that failed the six tests. All Labour MPs must now follow Jeremy Corbyn, stand up to May, and vote down the deal."

Outlined by Labour MP and shadow Brexit secretary, Labour's "six tests" for an acceptable deal to leave the E.U. are as follows:

1. Does it ensure a strong and collaborative future relationship with the EU?

2. Does it deliver the "exact same benefits" as we currently have as members of the Single Market and Customs Union?

3. Does it ensure the fair management of migration in the interests of the economy and communities?

4. Does it defend rights and protections and prevent a race to the bottom?

5. Does it protect national security and our capacity to tackle cross-border crime?

6. Does it deliver for all regions and nations of the U.K.?

"This is not the deal the country was promised," Corbyn stated in his floor speech, "and Parliament cannot and I believe will not accept a false choice between this bad deal and no deal."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Scientists Revive ‘Zombie’ Virus After 50,000 Years Trapped in Siberian Permafrost

Researchers documented 13 never-before-seen viruses that have been lying dormant, frozen in thick ice, over tens of thousands of years.

Common Dreams staff ·


'Cleaner Air Is Coming' as London Expands Vehicle Pollution Fee to Entire Metro Area

"Around 4,000 Londoners die prematurely each year because of long-term exposure to air pollution, with the greatest number of deaths in outer London boroughs," noted Mayor Sadiq Khan in announcing the expansion.

Brett Wilkins ·


'Amazing News': Historic Shark Protections Approved at Global Wildlife Convention

Up to 90% of sharks targeted by the lucrative fin trade will now be protected, said one advocate.

Julia Conley ·


'The Nightmare Materializes': Far-Right Extremist Itamar Ben-Gvir to Be Israel's National Security Minister

The Foreign Affairs Ministry of the Palestinian Authority said Ben-Gvir's elevation to national security minister could have a "catastrophic impact on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."

Jake Johnson ·


Raging Wars, Soaring Hunger Put Women and Girls in Crosshairs, Warns UN

"A toxic mix of crises—conflicts, climate, skyrocketing costs, and the ripple effects of the Ukraine war—are inflicting a devastating toll on the forcibly displaced. This is being felt across the world, but women and girls are particularly suffering."

Brett Wilkins ·

Common Dreams Logo