Tom Watson pressures Jeremy Corbyn to work with Liberal Democrats to prevent no-deal Brexit

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Tom Watson pressures Jeremy Corbyn to work with Liberal Democrats to prevent no-deal Brexit
  1. ITV Report
Tom Watson addressing anti-Brexit campaigners in Parliament Square, March 2019. Credit: PA

Labour deputy leader Tom Watson has increased pressure on Jeremy Corbyn to work with the Liberal Democrats to prevent an “undemocratic and disastrous” no-deal Brexit under Boris Johnson.

Mr Watson’s comments came as Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson said she would work with other parties to prevent a “disastrous” deal-less departure despite previously labelling the Labour leader as indecisive” over Brexit.

  • ITV News Political Correspondent Paul Brand on the latest Brexit developments

Senior figures within Labour have ruled out working in a cross-party alliance to prevent a no-deal departure as the Prime Minister prepares to leave the EU by October 31, regardless of whether a deal is in place.

But Mr Watson took a different line as he spoke alongside Ms Swinson at an event by For Our Future’s Sake and Our Future Our Choice, two youth movements campaigning for a second referendum.

Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson has said she would be open to working with Tom Watson Credit: Niall Carson/PA

“We cannot tolerate an undemocratic and disastrous no-deal being forced on the country by Boris Johnson,” Mr Watson said.

“To stop him, everyone who cares about democracy, our country and our future must work together because there are enough of us – from all parties in Parliament – to stop him.”

Pics of @tom_watson and @joswinson at that joint event today, calling for parties to work together to stop a No Deal Brexit. pic.twitter.com/jYU1m7DKut

— Paul Brand (@PaulBrandITV) August 13, 2019

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He added: “Whether you’re Liberal Democrats, social democrats or democratic socialists, we are all democrats. And democrats have got to realise in this crisis that we’re stronger together if we work together.”

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell and shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey have both said Labour will not work in any pact with other parties.

Instead they say Labour can win a majority at a general election, which may be looming.

Jo Swinson has accused Jeremy Corbyn of being ‘indecisive’ over Brexit. Credit: PA

Ms Swinson has accused Mr Corbyn of being “indecisive” over Brexit, following calls for the Labour leader to firm up his party’s stance towards a second referendum.

But at the event she said “this is no time for tribalism”.

“Boris Johnson and his Cabinet are now actively pursuing that dangerous path, and I am committed to working with others across party lines in Parliament to stop no-deal Brexit,” she said.

“That is why I am pleased to be here today with Tom to show that there is a desire across the political spectrum to stop Boris Johnson’s reckless no-deal Brexit plan and instead deliver a brighter future inside the EU.”

Mr Corbyn has said he will call for a vote of no confidence in the Government this autumn in an attempt to prevent no-deal.

Philip Hammond called on Mr Johnson not to listen to the ‘unelected’ saboteurs ‘who pull the strings’ of his Government.. Credit: PA

Former chancellor Philip Hammond urged Mr Johnson to take the UK out of the European with a deal in place, but said the early signs for that “are not encouraging”.

Mr Hammond said the Prime Minister would commit a betrayal of the referendum if he enacted a no-deal Brexit by listening to the “unelected” saboteurs “who pull the strings” of his Government.

“The unelected people who pull the strings of this Government know that this is a demand the EU cannot and will not accede to,” the Tory backbencher wrote in The Times on Wednesday.

Mr Hammond said he was busting two “great myths” over a no-deal Brexit, arguing it will be damaging to the nation – both economically and to the union – and that voters do not back the move.

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