Skip to main content

Brexit: May to work with Corbyn

Wednesday 3 April 2019

DR BEN Williams comments on Theresa May's move to bring Jeremy Corbyn into the Brexit negotiations.

Dr Williams said: "Theresa May’s offer to bring Jeremy Corbyn into the frontline of Brexit negotiations is a humiliating U-turn which illustrates what a corner she now finds herself boxed into. 

"Her critics have rightfully said that such a bipartisan approach should have been attempted when this whole process began almost three years ago. Indeed, it can be argued with some justification that for much of the Brexit negotiating period, May has explicitly put Conservative Party interests before national ones.

"This is evident in her general lack of attention to the views of the 48% who voted remain, the unwillingness to seek compromise and consensus at an earlier stage, the shamelessly partisan decision to call a general election in 2017, and the subsequent attempts to prioritise keeping her warring party together when she was much weakened following the 2017 electoral setback.

"She now calls for co-operation with the Labour leadership, despite actively avoiding any such actions until now, and having being involved in a bitter war of words with Jeremy Corbyn over the issue. She claims to be doing this in the ‘national interest’, but her opponents will view this as an act of desperation, not of patriotism.

"For his part, Corbyn should be willing to listen and show some statesmanship, but also be aware that the embattled Prime Minister may well be trying to associate him with the failure of Brexit. In doing so, she will also be seeking to damage his own prospects at any forthcoming general election, when the Conservatives will be ruthlessly seeking a fourth successive victory, albeit under new leadership. 

"A brief study of modern British history tells us that the Conservative Party has often exploited national crises for party political gain, and on this basis May’s latest moves could still be seen as putting the interests of her party above those of the wider country."