Jeremy Corbyn has put pressure on Prime Minister Theresa May to recall parliament early to allow a vote on her Brexit deal to take place “as soon as possible”.
The Labour leader reiterated that he wants MPs to have a vote as soon as possible in an interview with The Independent.
He also suggested that if May were to lose that vote – which looks likely – he would call for a confidence vote in the government that could potentially trigger the snap general election Labour says it wants.
In his interview, he said: “We’ve made clear it’s a question of when, not if, we do a vote of no confidence in the government. Obviously we do [it] at a time when their confidence is the lowest ever, which I suspect will be after they’ve lost the vote.”
MPs are due back in the Commons on 7 January, and Theresa May has said the vote on the EU withdrawal agreement will take place the following week.
However, Mr Corbyn has argued that it must happen “as soon as possible”.
The vote on the withdrawal agreement negotiated by the PM with Brussels had been due to take place on 11 December. It was postponed by the PM when, after three days of debate, it became clear it would be “rejected by a significant margin”.
There was widespread anger among opposition parties when Mrs May told MPs they would not vote until mid-January. The UK is due to leave the EU on 29 March.
Mr Corbyn told the Independent: “What I suspect is that it’s a completely cynical manoeuvre to run down the clock and offer MPs the choice of the devil or the deep blue sea.”
Ministers and the opposition alike argue that leaving without a deal would hit the UK economy badly, with official analysis suggesting it could lead to a 9.3 per cent contraction over 15 years.