Image copyright HOC
Theresa May went head-to-head with Jeremy Corbyn in the House of Commons. Here’s what happened.
Will the UK be worse off under the prime minister’s Brexit plans or not? That was the question Jeremy Corbyn wanted answering at this session, after the Treasury published an analysis suggesting the UK would be less well off under all Brexit options when compared with staying in the EU.
Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt had said Mrs May’s deal would mitigate “most” of the negative impacts of Brexit, said the Labour leader. Which of the negative impacts would not be mitigated?
Mrs May said her deal was the best available to protect the economy and “honour” the EU referendum result. The “biggest risk” to the economy was a Labour government, she added.
“It is not hard to be the best deal if it is the only deal,” observed the Labour leader, “by definition it is also the worst”.
In fact, he went on, there was no deal “just a 26-page wish list”.
Jeremy Corbyn on #Brexit: “It's not hard to be the best deal if it's the only deal”
Theresa May: “What does Labour have to offer? 6 bullet points. My weekend shopping list is longer than that”
— BBC Politics (@BBCPolitics) November 28, 2018
Referring to Philip Hammond saying the UK would be “slightly worse off” under the prime minister’s deal, Mr Corbyn noted the chancellor’s absence from the front bench and asked if Mrs May agreed with his remarks.
Mrs May said: “The analysis shows the deal we have negotiated is the best deal for the economy and delivers on the results of the referendum.
“He calls the political declaration a wish list, but this is an ambitious, broad and flexible partnership,” she added.
“The Labour Party has six bullet points to offer. My weekend shopping list is longer than that.”
The Labour leader quoted a damning UN report, which had said it was “clear” the impact of Brexit on people in poverty was an “after-thought”.
If the PM’s deal was so great, he asked, why were MPs “not queuing up” to back it?
Farmers in Wales, fishermen in Scotland and employers in Northern Ireland were backing it, claimed the prime minister.
She defended the government’s economic record, saying figures today showed the number of children living in workless households was “at a record low”.