POLITICS
15/08/2019 12:37 BST

Tory Rebels To Meet Jeremy Corbyn For Talks On Blocking No-Deal Brexit

"We agree that our common priority should be to work together in parliament to prevent no-deal Brexit."

Tory rebels have agreed to meet Jeremy Corbyn for talks on how they can join forces to stop a no-deal Brexit.

Rebel ringleaders Oliver Letwin, Dominic Grieve, Caroline Spelman and Nick Boles, who sits as an independent after quitting the Tories over Brexit, said they agree with Labour that their “common priority” is to stop no deal.

It comes after the Labour leader asked opposition parties and anti-no deal Tory MPs to back him to become a caretaker prime minister to stop no deal.

Under Corbyn’s plan, MPs would vote no confidence to bring down Boris Johnson’s government and then seek to form their own cross-party administration with him as PM.

He has promised this would be “strictly time-limited”, and that he would use his time in Downing Street to ask the EU to delay Brexit and call an election.

So far the SNP, Plaid Cymru and the Green Party have signalled they could be willing to work with Corbyn.

But the Liberal Democrats and Change UK have turned him down.

Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson has said she would rather have an interim government led by a respected backbencher like Ken Clarke or Harriet Harman, but the apparent openness of the Tories to at least discuss the idea with Corbyn will add to the pressure on her.

In their letter, the Tories and Boles wrote: “We agree that our common priority should be to work together in parliament to prevent no-deal Brexit and welcome your invitation to discuss the different ways that this might be achieved.

“We would be happy to meet with you as well as colleagues from other opposition parties whenever convenient in the weeks before parliament returns.”

Earlier, Shadow Business Secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey urged Swinson to join forces with Labour.

She told BBC Radio 4′s Today programme: “I’d issue a plea to Swinson particularly.

“I know that Jo wants to avoid a no deal situation as we do.

“This isn’t about personality or politics or about implementing Labour policy.

“It’s avoiding a no deal situation and ensuring a general election is called so ultimately the people can decide which government they want to take forward.”

She added: “I think it’s sad Jo’s made those comments but wouldn’t close the door completely.”