Corbyn initiative to prevent No Deal welcome

15 August 2019

Labour Party Leader Brendan Howlin TD has welcomed the Jeremy Corbyn initiative to prevent no deal Brexit at Westminster.

The Labour Leader said:

“This is the space we need to be moving into given the constitutional difficulties that face No Deal opponents in the UK. Corbyn’s offer of a temporary Government to extend Article 50 and facilitate a General Election is a reasonable one and I welcome the SNP and Green response. It recognises Corbyn’s position as Leader of the Opposition who secured 40% of the vote at the last General Election.

“It is already clear that the European Union would facilitate such an extension were there to be a General Election.

“I think we need to be realistic too. There is party politics involved and the reaction of the Liberal Democrats is not surprising. Nonetheless they will be in a position to make their anti-Brexit position clear in a General Election campaign and Labour will have to resolve its position on the issue. The bottom line for all involved is that you don’t have to support Jeremy Corbyn either personally or politically to support a proposal. It is merely a way of preventing No Deal and the mandateless pursuit of it by an unelected Prime Minister. If Corbyn were not to honour it he would be finished.

“From an Irish perspective, it is clear that Westminister is on a knife edge. The refusal of Sinn Féin and Mary Lou McDonald to add to the numbers opposing No Deal Brexit remains infuriating. If ever Sinn Fein wanted to prove its credibility as a party prepared to put Ireland first, north and south, this is it.

“In the meantime, it is imperative now that the Irish Government ramp up its no deal preparations as that still remains the most likely scenario. I’ve been calling in recent weeks for discussions with the European Union about the level of support available to Ireland in the event of no deal, both in terms of financial relief but also in terms of keeping supply lines to this country open in light of our dependence on the UK land bridge. We have yet to see substantive details of this.”

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