Theresa May rules out revoking Article 50 in PMQs as she and Jeremy Corbyn trade insults

Theresa May rules out revoking Article 50 in PMQs as she and Jeremy Corbyn trade insults

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Following an unprecedented defeat in the Commons over her Brexit deal, Theresa May used Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday to assure the house that she was still committed to pursuing a deal.

Jeremy Corbyn attacked the Prime Minister not just on her Brexit deal, but on other issues that the government had “failed” on.

Mrs May began the session by condemning the attack in Nairobi, Kenya, in which terrorists stormed a hotel in the capital, killing at least 15 people.

Mr Corbyn then began quizzing her about her next steps - but not before he’d revelled in the size of her defeat.

“Last night I suggested this was the largest government defeat since the 1920s,” he began.

“I would not want to be accused of misleading the house. I’ve since been informed it is the largest ever defeat in the history of our democracy.”

 

Revoking Article 50 'not something government will do'

Mrs May assured the house she still wanted to deliver Brexit - but not a no deal one.

“There are two ways of avoiding no deal. The first is to agree a deal, the second is to revoke Article 50,” she said.

“That would mean staying in the European Union and failing to respect the result of the referendum. That is something this government will not do,” she said.

Not satisfied with her response, Mr Corbyn brung up several other points he considered government failures, including poverty - “4 million working people living in poverty. Half a million more children in poverty compared to 2010” - the Windrush scandal, homelessness, and the “hostile environment”.

He called her “in denial” over the customs union and public spending on no deal preparations, but Mrs May hit back, saying that nobody was sure what his alternative Brexit plan was.

“The only person in denial is him - he’s consistently failed to set out what his policy on Brexit is,” she said.

She even threw in a reference to the time he allegedly mouthed ‘stupid woman’ at her in the house, which he denied, but others said his mouth appeared to form the words.

“It’s been suggested he might need a lip reader, but when it comes to his Brexit policy, the rest of us need a mind reader.”

The attacks continued, with Mrs May bringing up the allegations of antisemitism within the Labour party, but no detailed information about what her next steps might be emerged.

As the Prime Minister and the Labour leader slung previous political scandals at each other, Brexit, and what happens next, remained unresolved.