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Pro-Remain MPs Slam Corbyn's Call for Unity Caretaker Gov't, Says Brexit Needs 'Centrist' Leadership

© AP Photo / Stefan RousseauLabour MP Chuka Umunna, center, speaks to the media during a press conference with a group of six other Labour MPs, in London, Monday, Feb. 18, 2019.
Labour MP Chuka Umunna, center, speaks to the media during a press conference with a group of six other Labour MPs, in London, Monday, Feb. 18, 2019. - Sputnik International
The news comes as Labour and opposition leader, Jeremy Corbyn, urged pro-Remain parties and rebel Tories to unite under a temporarily administered Labour government to block a no-deal scenario, causing a fresh stumbling block in parliamentary negotiations over Britain’s future.

Independent Group for Change leader Anna Soubry told the BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Thursday that she would not “support a government of national unity” led by Mr Corbyn “for all manner of reasons”.

She told the BBC: “One, because I don’t think it’s genuine; secondly because it is not going to deliver a people’s vote, which is the only way through the chaos; and, of course, he doesn’t command support or respect in his own political party, never mind across the parliamentary divide.

Her comments come after the Labour leader wrote on Wednesday to the opposition parties such as Plaid Cymru, Liberal Democrats, the Scottish Nationalist Party, Greens, as well as Conservatives backing Remain, that the Corbyn would be the best leader for a caretaker government following a general election.

But former Tory MP, Sarah Wollaston, joined the Lib Dems on late Wednesday to make an “unequivocal case” against a no-deal Brexit, and said that party leader Jo Swinson was “realistic” by not backing Mr Corbyn as he would not “find the support of the Commons”, instead supporting a “trusted figure” such as Tory MP Kenneth Clarke or Hillary Benn.

Mrs Wollaston said that she thought a leader who commanded “cross-party support would be much better for that very temporary arrangement” as “one of the best ways [the UK] goes forward”.

She told the BBC’s Today programme: “The more people that join the Liberal Democrats and are making that unequivocal case I think the better, and the most significant feedback I got over the European election was that people wanted to see a single unified force making the case against no deal.”

The Totnes MP said that her constituents were “horrified” the Tory Party’s shift to the “right”, stating that she had been selected via a “centre-ground approach”.

“The point is that we are at a time of national crisis now,” she said. “If you’ve got such a great policy idea, why do you have to spend billions on making contingency plans for air freighting in medicines and food? It is not good enough, and people deserve a say on that.”

But SNP Westminster leader, Ian Blackford, welcomed Mr Corbyn’s bid, stating that there was a majority in Commons against a hard Brexit, adding that he had written to the Labour leader requesting all opposition leaders to form a “broad coalition” to block a no-deal scenario.

He said: “I think really what is important is we tackle the immediate crisis in front of us, and that is the very real threat we have of leaving the European Union on a no-deal basis at the end of October, and I do believe, I strongly believe that there is a majority in parliament against no deal.

Experts Weigh In On Corbyn's Proposed Labour Alliance

Chris Stafford, Doctoral Researcher at the University of Nottingham, said that proposing such an alliance was a "bold move" for Mr Corbyn, but was unsure if it wold work.

"The other political parties have been cautious, with the Liberal Democrats dismissing it outright," Mr Stafford said. "However, Corbyn’s aim might not be to actually create an alliance, but to show the public he is taking a strong position on Brexit".

He added that Labour's stance on Bexit was "notoriously unclear for a while now" and that despite working initially working for the party, voters had become "impatient and demanded clearer positions", leading Labour to lose support.

"This move may go some way towards winning back support, but there is a lot more to be done if Corbyn wants to recapture his 2017 levels of popularity," Mr Stafford added.

Jeremy Corbyn vowed he would call for a no-confidence vote against Mr Johnson's government, adding that his "strictly time-limited temporary government" would help delay the UK's departure from the European bloc and hold a general election, as well as campaigning for a second referendum on Brexit, Reuters reported on Thursday. But UK prime minister Boris Johnson has pledged multiple times to take the UK out of the European Union by the 31 October deadline, with or without a deal, adding that Brussels was refusing to compromise on its Brexit agreement inked with former PM Theresa May.

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