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."
— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) November 15, 2018
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."
—MomentumIn 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."