Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Brexit: UK opposition leader seeks to oust PM

Brexit: UK opposition leader seeks to oust PM

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson wants a law against any no-deal Brexit (AFP Photo/Tolga AKMEN)

Brexit: UK opposition leader seeks to oust PM

Britain's main opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn urged parliament on Wednesday to oust Prime Minister Boris Johnson before he takes the splintered country out of the EU without a deal.

Corbyn called on members of other parties who fear the economic consequences of a chaotic “no-deal Brexit” to vote no-confidence in Johnson’s government and appoint a caretaker one in its place.

He offered to lead the new cabinet on a “strictly time-limited” basis so that he can ask leaders of the other 27 EU member states to postpone the October 31 divorce date.

“I would then, as leader of the opposition, seek the confidence of the House for a strictly time-limited temporary government with the aim of calling a general election, and securing the necessary extension,” Corbyn said in a letter to top pro-European and moderate lawmakers.

“In that general election, Labour will be committed to a public vote on the terms of leaving the European Union, including an option to Remain.”

Corbyn did not spell out when he intended to put the motion of no-confidence up for a vote.

A Downing Street spokesman said Corbyn’s proposal would “overrule the referendum and wreck the economy”.

Johnson campaigned to succeed Theresa May as ruling Conservative Party leader last month on a promise to take Britain out of the bloc by the twice-delayed deadline at any cost.

The British parliament three times rejected the separation terms May signed with her EU counterparts last year.

Lawmakers were particularly troubled by the “backstop” – a mechanism that would keep the UK in EU customs arrangements to prevent a hard border on the island of Ireland.

Brussels says the fallback option is needed to preserve the integrity of European trade and avoid risking a return of sectarian violence in Britain’s Northern Ireland.

Johnson insisted on Wednesday that he was not trying to end Britain’s 46-year involvement in the Europe project without a plan for what comes next.

But he stressed that Brussels had to give ground in order to avoid a sudden rupture in trade and diplomatic ties.

“The more they think there’s a chance Brexit can be blocked in parliament, the more adamant they are in sticking to their position,” Johnson said.

A faction of more moderate lawmakers have been discussing ways to keep Johnson from following through on his no-deal threat for weeks.

Yet leaders of the pro-EU Liberal Democrats have opposed putting Corbyn – a socialist whose position on Europe has been vague – in charge of a new government.

“Jeremy Corbyn is not the person who is going to be able to build an even temporary majority in the House of Commons for this task,” Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson said in response to Corbyn’s letter.

“It is a nonsense.”

It is also far from clear whether snap general elections would see more EU-friendly parties come out on top.

European Parliament polls held in May saw populist Nigel Farage’s new Brexit Party finish first with 30 per cent of the vote.

The Liberal Democrats and Labour came in second and third while the Conservatives managed a dismal fourth-place showing that contributed to May’s downfall.

MOST VIEWED

  • Website advises travellers to stay clear of Angkor Wat

    An Australian website has advised travellers to avoid Angkor Wat during their trip to Southeast Asia because the ancient temple is showing signs of rapid erosion and faced water management issues. In a recent article entitled Best places to go in 2020: 12 destinations you should avoid

  • First deportees of the year touch down in Cambodia

    Twenty-five Cambodian-Americans landed in Phnom Penh on Wednesday, marking the first such deportations of the year. “On Wednesday, US law enforcement authorities deported 25 Cambodian nationals that immigration judges determined had no legal basis to remain in the US,” said Arend Zwartjes, spokesperson for the US

  • Passenger taxi boat ridership sinks despite free services

    Passenger taxi boat traffic has dropped by about five per cent compared to the same period last year, despite the government providing free service for garment workers until next year, Phnom Penh Autonomous Bus Transportation Authority director Ean Sokhim said on Monday. In 2018, the Phnom

  • Kingdom drafting new law to strengthen immigration

    The Ministry of Interior on Tuesday said it had formed a working group to draft amendments to the Law on Immigration. Its secretary of state Sok Phal told The Post that the amendments will strengthen the management of immigrants in line with the current situation.

  • Qatar Airways to connect Doha and Siem Reap town

    Qatar Airways Company QCSC has announced a new route connecting Qatar’s capital Doha with Siem Reap, a move hailed by local officials as a significant step to boost tourist numbers. A Qatar Airways representative, speaking at the Kuwait Aviation Show, announced on Thursday that

  • Jica seeks to turn PP, towns into smart cities

    Japanese International Cooperation Agency (Jica) representatives have sought support from Siem Reap’s Apsara National Authority (ANA) to transform the ancient capital into a smart city. The call was made in February last year after the government approved three cities to join the Asean Smart