Jeremy Corbyn will accuse Boris Johnson of making a “lurch to the hard right” as he talks up Labour’s chances in a general election on a visit to a key marginal seat.
“The Tories have lurched to the hard right under Boris Johnson, Britain’s Trump, the fake populist and phoney outsider, funded by the hedge funds and bankers, committed to protecting the vested interests of the richest and the elites, while posing as anti-establishment,” the Labour Leader will outline.
Jeremy Corbyn will argue that an autumn election with the backdrop of a chaotic no-deal Brexit would be “a crossroads”, “a once-in-a-generation chance for a real change of direction, potentially on the scale of 1945 or 1979”, – referring to the elections of Clement Attlee at Margaret Thatcher.
The Tory party has “failed” the UK and an autumn general election will bring the “change of direction the country needs”, Jeremy Corbyn is set to say in a speech today.
Setting out Labour’s election pitch as an election seems more likely by the day, the Labour leader will accuse Boris Johnson of extremism, taking the Conservative Party on a “lurch to the hard right.”
Corbyn is expected to reaffirm his commitment to give British people a final say on Brexit, with a second referendum with “credible” options to leave and remain in the EU.
This is in stark contrast to veteran Conservative MP Ken Clarke who has been floated as a figure to lead a caretaker government by LibDem leader Jo Swinson.
With evidence that the Conservative Party is already preparing for an election with hundreds of social media ads, the Labour leader will insist a general election is a “once in a generation” chance for Britain to move forward.
In a speech to be delivered at a children’s centre in the marginal Conservative-held seat of Corby, the Labour leader will insist that the UK is facing a Brexit “crisis” of Boris Johnson’s making, and only the opposition party can “deliver the change that’s needed” in an autumn election.
Corbyn will set out Labour’s electoral pitch today, saying: “The Conservative Party’s failure on Brexit, and its lurch to the hard right, has provoked the crisis our country faces this autumn.
“After failing to negotiate a Brexit deal that would protect jobs and living standards, Boris Johnson’s Tories are driving the country towards a No Deal cliff edge.
“We will do everything necessary to stop a disastrous no-deal, for which this government has no mandate. Boris Johnson’s government wants to use No Deal to create a tax haven for the super-rich on the shores of Europe and sign a sweetheart trade deal with Donald Trump: not so much a no-deal Brexit as a Trump Deal Brexit.”
With over a hundred MPs from different parties calling for parliament to be recalled from Summer holidays as the UK is “on the brink” of a no-deal Brexit crisis, Corbyn is expected to back their call.
Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell this morning said that “to abide with constitutional practice” it would not be up for negotiation that Jeremy Corbyn would seek to lead a caretaker government before calling a general election.
McDonnell told BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme that the Labour Leader would be meeting opposition party leaders next week.
The Shadow Chancellor confirmed Labour’s commitment to a People’s Vote and said he would be campaigning for remain, because he “couldn’t see an option with the same benefits as remaining.”
Referring to the damaging leak of the Cabinet Office’s “Yellowhammer” assessments of the impact of a no-deal Brexit – which the new Conservative Cabinet were chosen to be comfortable with, McDonnell said that he agreed with Green Party MP Caroline Lucas, that: “even if it’s only half right it will prove disastrous for the country. Parliament needs to reconvene.”
Leaked to the Sunday Times by a former government minister, the “Operation Yellowhammer” documents warn that Britain will be hit with a “meltdown” at its ports, a hard Irish border and shortages of food and medicine if the UK leaves without an agreement.
It details civil unrest expected across the UK and especially in Northern Ireland which would be destabilized by a hard border in event of no deal.
A senior Whitehall source told the paper: “This is not Project Fear, this is the most realistic assessment of what the public face with no deal. These are likely, basic, reasonable scenarios – not the worst case.”
According to the documents, petrol import tariffs would “inadvertently” lead to the closure of two oil refineries, job losses and fuel shortages while protests across the UK could “require significant amounts of police resources” in a no-deal scenario.
They also warn that Gibraltar could face delays of up to four hours at the border with Spain for “at least a few months”.
Boris Johnson heads to Berlin and Paris this week to meet EU leaders, but refuses to renegotiate Brexit without a commitment to get rid of the Irish backstop – which EU countries insist is impossible, as it would wreak havoc for Ireland, a member state of the EU.
Number 10 is still attempting to play down the significance of the embarrassing leak of the secret Whitehall no-deal dossier which was never meant for the public to ever see.
A Number 10 source said: “This document is from when ministers were blocking what needed to be done to get ready to leave and the funds were not available.
“It has been deliberately leaked by a former minister in an attempt to influence discussions with EU leaders.
“Those obstructing preparation are no longer in Government, £2 billion of extra funding (has been) already made available, and Whitehall has been stood up to actually do the work through the daily ministerial meetings.
“The entire posture of Government has changed.”