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Friday, August 09, 2019, 10:20
Corbyn: Forcing a no-deal Brexit would be 'abuse of power'
By Reuters
Friday, August 09, 2019, 10:20 By Reuters

Britain's main opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn speaks to lawmakers after the government's Brexit withdrawal agreement was voted down in the House of Commons, London, March 29, 2019. (PHOTO / House of Commons / AP)

LONDON Forcing through a no-deal Brexit during an election campaign would be “an unprecedented, unconstitutional and anti-democratic abuse of power” by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said on Thursday

In a letter to cabinet secretary Mark Sedwill, Britain’s most senior government official, Corbyn said Labour would never support leaving the European Union without a deal and was concerned after reports suggested Johnson would do exactly that.

If the UK is due to leave the EU without a deal during a general election campaign, the government should seek a time-limited extension to Article 50, to let the electorate decide and the incoming government take the next steps on the basis of the voters’ wishes

Jeremy Corbyn, Labour leader, UK

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Earlier this month, the Sunday Telegraph said Dominic Cummings, Johnson’s senior adviser, had told ministers that the prime minister could schedule a new election after the Oct 31 Brexit deadline if he lost a vote of no confidence.

Some lawmakers are looking at ways to try to stop any move to take Britain out of the EU without a deal, including bringing a motion of no confidence against Johnson’s government, which has a majority of one, when parliament reconvenes in September.

“Forcing through no-deal against a decision of parliament, and denying the choice to the voters in a general election already underway, would be an unprecedented, unconstitutional and anti-democratic abuse of power by a prime minister elected, not by the public, but by a small number of unrepresentative Conservative Party members,” Corbyn wrote.

He went on to write that according to election rules any matters of policy which a new government might want to change should be postponed until after any new election.

“I would therefore be grateful for your confirmation that, if the UK is due to leave the EU without a deal during a general election campaign, the government should seek a time-limited extension to Article 50, to let the electorate decide and the incoming government take the next steps on the basis of the voters’ wishes.”

READ MORE: Johnson presses EU to give way amid no-deal Brexit warnings

Johnson has promised to take Britain out of the EU on Oct 31 with or without a deal, increasing the possibility of a no-deal Brexit that has sent the pound tumbling.

But parliament, which has so far failed to ratify any deal to leave the EU, has repeatedly voted against a no-deal Brexit, setting up a likely battle with the government when lawmakers return from their summer break in September.

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