McDonnell's remark suggests Labour's options are narrowing as the clock ticks down to March 29 | Oli Scarff/AFP via Getty Images
John McDonnell: Forcing a UK general election now ‘unlikely’
The shadow chancellor predicted that MPs would soon take the Brexit process out of Theresa May’s hands.
By Tom McTague
Updated 2/13/19, 8:21 PM CET
LONDON — Labour’s chances of forcing a general election to renegotiate Brexit are now “unlikely,” the party’s shadow chancellor John McDonnell said Wednesday.
The remarks, in a live POLITICO London Playbook interview Wednesday, suggest the opposition party is inching toward a compromise Brexit deal with the government — or a second referendum.
McDonnell said he agreed with the party’s shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer who said pushing for a general election was no longer a “credible option.” Starmer’s intervention sparked a sharp response from Jeremy Corbyn’s office, which insisted an early election remained the party’s “preferred option.”
Asked whether Starmer was right, McDonnell replied: “We’re still in the hope of a general election, but it’s unlikely, so, yeah, I think [he is].”
McDonnell’s remark suggests Labour’s options are narrowing as the clock ticks down to March 29, the scheduled date for Britain’s departure from the European Union.
Speaking to London Playbook editor Jack Blanchard, McDonnell said Theresa May was “floundering” and predicted parliament would soon take control of the process, forcing a softer Brexit on the government before voting it through before March 29.
“I think parliament is going to take it off her hands,”