Labour leader Jeremy Corby has written to Cabinet Secretary Sir Mark Sedwill saying a no deal Brexit during a general election campaign is”anti-democratic abuse of power”
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has urged the UK’s most senior civil servant to intervene to prevent a no-deal Brexit during a general election campaign. Mr Corbyn is concerned that Prime Minister Boris Johnson could call an election and withdraw the UK from the EU before polling day.
He has written to Cabinet Secretary Sir Mark Sedwill saying such a move would be an “anti-democratic abuse of power,” BBC reported.
The UK will leave the EU on 31 October with or without a deal unless Article 50 is extended or revoked.
The letter comes amid speculation MPs will table a no-confidence motion in the PM. It is thought opposition MPs could propose the vote in a bid to prevent the UK leaving the EU with no deal.
Mr Corbyn said the party would propose the vote at an “appropriate” time after the Commons returns from its summer recess on 5 September. But when a general election is called, Parliament is dissolved 25 working days before the election – so some people are concerned Mr Johnson could push through a no-deal Brexit while MPs are away.
If the PM loses the motion of no-confidence, then under the Fixed Term Parliaments Act he would have another 14 days to win another vote. If he fails to secure the vote then a general election would be called on a date advised on by the PM.
However, if another candidate can secure the confidence of the Commons then, under cabinet rules, Mr Johnson would be expected to resign and recommend the Queen appoints the other person.
Sir Vince Cable told BBC’s Newsnight that a “significant number” of Tories would support a no-confidence motion.
Sir Vince said the UK has been in a constitutional crisis for “a long time” and there would be wide support for an “emergency administration” to take over from Mr Johnson.
In his letter to Sir Mark, Mr Corbyn called such a move “unprecedented” and “unconstitutional”.
He said the “purdah” guidance, which states that policy decisions on which a new government “might be expected to want to take a different view” should be postponed until after the election.
Mr Corbyn said a Labour government would never support a no-deal Brexit, and so would “want the opportunity to take a different view”.
He called on Sir Mark to rule that if the UK was due to leave the EU with no deal during an election, the government should seek another time-limited extension to Article 50 to give voters the choice.
“Forcing through no-deal against a decision of Parliament, and denying the choice to the voters in a general election already under way, would be an unprecedented, unconstitutional and anti-democratic abuse of power by a prime minister elected not by the public but by a small number of unrepresentative Conservative Party members,” he wrote.