Corbyn, Farron, Lucas respond to Theresa May’s ‘clean Brexit’ speech

Left party leaders trash PM's plans to leave the single market


Theresa May is ‘gambling with our future’ and engaged in ‘a theft of democracy’ according to leaders of Britain’s left and liberal parties, in response to the PM’s speech declaring Britain would leave the single market.

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron accused the PM of hijacking people’s votes and signing them up to a UKIP agenda, while Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said May was trying to have her cake and eat it.

Green Party co-leader Caroline Lucas called May’s approach ‘utter vandalism’, saying the Greens would ‘fight any attempt to turn Britain into a free-market tax haven’.

Corbyn pledged to hold the government to account, and said Labour will respond  in parliament to the speech, while the Lib Dems are calling for a referendum on the Brexit deal.

Farron, on the BBC, said:

“What she has done is taken the views of 51.9 per cent of the people – who voted to leave the European Union last June – and assume they all wanted the same as Nigel Farage, assume that they wanted an extreme Brexit that was not on the ballot paper.

So this is a theft of democracy as well as an attack on our economy.”

Corbyn told Sky News:

“She has said ‘leave the single market’ then at the same time ‘have access to the single market’. I’m not sure how that is gonna go down in Europe. … She seems to be wanting to have her cake and eat it. …

We are going to hold them account on all of this because I think there are enormous dangers in all of this. …

She makes all these optimistic statements, every economic indicator is going in the wrong direction at the present time.”

He added in a statement:

“Theresa May has made clear that she is determined to use Brexit to turn Britain into a bargain basement tax haven on the shores of Europe.

She makes out this is a negotiating threat to the 27 EU countries but it’s actually a threat to the British people’s jobs, services and living standards.”

Caroline Lucas said:

“The Prime Minister has morphed a close-run referendum into a mandate for an extremely hard brexit which will see our economy harmed as part of her desperate desire to end free movement. …

The Green Party will continue to stand up for free movement and keeping close ties with the European Union, and we’ll fight any attempt to slash our state through corporate tax cuts and a race to the bottom on regulations.”


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4 Responses to “Corbyn, Farron, Lucas respond to Theresa May’s ‘clean Brexit’ speech”

  1. Craig Mackay

    Theresa May has interpreted Brexit as prioritising immigration control over access to the single market. Such a choice is likely to have damaging economic consequences. We depend on immigration because in many areas our capacity to train enough of our own people has been cut substantially. Unfortunately, the Prime Minister has proven a complete inability to manage immigration. Although half the current net immigration is from non-EU countries in her six years as Home Secretary responsible for immigration her efforts had essentially zero impact on immigration numbers. There were many tools she could have used to limit immigration within the existing EU rules. They already allow substantial control on immigration from the EU when an immigrant has no job and/or no finances of their own (see:

    Labour have prioritised the economy above everything else when negotiating the Brexit deal. Theresa May’s choice is in direct opposition to that and it is critical that the broad support there is in the UK for an economy-biased choice is mobilised against this insanity. Opinion polls have shown that a significant majority of those that voted Leave would not be prepared to accept even a slight reduction in their own standard of living consequent on Brexit. Is it conceivable that MPs, a great majority of whom are Remainers, would vote at the end of this process for a deal that significantly impoverishes the nation and particularly the poor?

  2. Michael

    and what does Spreadsheet Phil do when Wolfgang Schauble tells him, “No, we don’t negotiate with a pistol at our heads”?

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