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Tom Watson urges Labour to work with Lib Dems to stop no-deal Brexit Tom Watson urges Labour to work with Lib Dems to stop no-deal Brexit
(about 16 hours later)
Labour’s deputy leader Tom Watson has urged his party to work with the Liberal Democrats in order to stop a no-deal Brexit, as the party’s new leader Jo Swinson made clear she would work with Watson, despite having ruled out an alliance with Jeremy Corbyn. Labour’s deputy leader, Tom Watson, has urged his party to work with the Liberal Democrats in order to stop a no-deal Brexit, as the new Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson made clear she would work with Watson, despite having ruled out an alliance with Jeremy Corbyn.
The remarks by the two senior politicians at a round table on Wednesday are likely to spark anger from the Labour leadership. Swinson has previously ruled out working with the Labour leader, branding him a Brexiter who could not be trusted to fight for a second referendum to keep the UK in the EU.The remarks by the two senior politicians at a round table on Wednesday are likely to spark anger from the Labour leadership. Swinson has previously ruled out working with the Labour leader, branding him a Brexiter who could not be trusted to fight for a second referendum to keep the UK in the EU.
Senior Labour figures have made clear they would not countenance backing any unity government or coalition to stop no deal unless it was led by Corbyn, whom they argue is best placed to command an anti-no deal majority.Senior Labour figures have made clear they would not countenance backing any unity government or coalition to stop no deal unless it was led by Corbyn, whom they argue is best placed to command an anti-no deal majority.
Watson, speaking at an event hosted by For our Future’s Sake and Our Future Our Choice – the two youth movements campaigning for a second referendum – said party lines should be irrelevant when it came to fighting to stop Boris Johnson forcing through no deal.Watson, speaking at an event hosted by For our Future’s Sake and Our Future Our Choice – the two youth movements campaigning for a second referendum – said party lines should be irrelevant when it came to fighting to stop Boris Johnson forcing through no deal.
“Everyone who cares about democracy, our country and our future must work together because there are enough of us – from all parties in parliament – to stop him,” he said.“Everyone who cares about democracy, our country and our future must work together because there are enough of us – from all parties in parliament – to stop him,” he said.
Labour panics as remain voters switch to Liberal DemocratsLabour panics as remain voters switch to Liberal Democrats
“First, that means working together to stop no deal for which there is no majority in either parliament or the country. Second, it means working together to make sure – whether it’s before an election or afterwards – we solve this Brexit crisis with more democracy, not less democracy by having a final say referendum so that all the people have their voice heard.“First, that means working together to stop no deal for which there is no majority in either parliament or the country. Second, it means working together to make sure – whether it’s before an election or afterwards – we solve this Brexit crisis with more democracy, not less democracy by having a final say referendum so that all the people have their voice heard.
“Whether you’re Liberal Democrats, social democrats or democratic socialists, we are all democrats. And democrats have got to realise in this crisis that we’re stronger together if we work together.”“Whether you’re Liberal Democrats, social democrats or democratic socialists, we are all democrats. And democrats have got to realise in this crisis that we’re stronger together if we work together.”
Watson’s remarks could be incendiary in Labour circles as they appear to undermine the tough stance taken by Corbyn and his allies who have insisted they would not back a unity government alternative to a general election, even if it had the sole aim of stopping no deal.Swinson said she was committed to “working with others across party lines in parliament to stop no deal Brexit” and said there was “no time for tribalism” – a coded warning to senior Labour figures such as John McDonnellor Rebecca Long-Bailey who have said Labour could not back moves led by those who would keep Corbyn out of No 10 if given the opportunity. Watson’s remarks could be incendiary in Labour circles as they appear to undermine the tough stance taken by Corbyn and his allies who have insisted they would not back a unity government alternative to a general election, even if it had the sole aim of stopping no deal.Swinson said she was committed to “working with others across party lines in parliament to stop no-deal Brexit” and said there was “no time for tribalism” – a coded warning to senior Labour figures such as John McDonnell or Rebecca Long-Bailey who have said Labour could not back moves led by those who would keep Corbyn out of No 10 if given the opportunity.
“That is why I am pleased to be here today with Tom to show there is a desire across the political spectrum to stop Boris Johnson’s reckless no deal Brexit plan and instead deliver a brighter future inside the EU,” she said.“Ultimately we need to secure a people’s vote, stop Brexit and ensure that the rights and opportunities that the last generation have enjoyed are protected for the next.” “That is why I am pleased to be here today with Tom to show there is a desire across the political spectrum to stop Boris Johnson’s reckless no-deal Brexit plan and instead deliver a brighter future inside the EU,” she said.“Ultimately we need to secure a people’s vote, stop Brexit and ensure that the rights and opportunities that the last generation have enjoyed are protected for the next.”
McDonnell has said he expects Labour to win any confidence vote against Johnson, though it is unclear when the party will attempt a vote when parliament returns from summer recess. He said Labour would try to force Johnson out by attempting to form a caretaker government with the support of other opposition parties and rebel Conservative MPs.McDonnell has said he expects Labour to win any confidence vote against Johnson, though it is unclear when the party will attempt a vote when parliament returns from summer recess. He said Labour would try to force Johnson out by attempting to form a caretaker government with the support of other opposition parties and rebel Conservative MPs.
Ruling out any deals with the Liberal Democrats or the Scottish National party, McDonnell said the only guarantee to other opposition parties would be to block a no deal Brexit and organise a fresh EU referendum. Ruling out any deals with the Liberal Democrats or the Scottish National party, McDonnell said the only guarantee to other opposition parties would be to block a no-deal Brexit and organise a fresh EU referendum.
Tom WatsonTom Watson
Liberal DemocratsLiberal Democrats
Labour party leadershipLabour party leadership
LabourLabour
Labour party deputy leadershipLabour party deputy leadership
BrexitBrexit
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