Election 2017

Theresa May: Jeremy Corbyn not ready for Brexit talks

Theresa May Image copyright AFP

Theresa May says she would be ready "from day one" to work on a new "deep and special relationship" with the European Union - while Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has "no plan for Brexit".

The prime minister said Monday's live TV grilling on Channel 4/Sky News had shown: "I am prepared. I am ready to go. Jeremy Corbyn is not."

She said she wanted a "deep and special" partnership with the EU.

But Labour's Angela Rayner said Mrs May had made the UK "a laughing stock".

Speaking in Wolverhampton, the prime minister said Mr Corbyn's position on Brexit would leave him "alone and naked in the negotiating chamber" with the European Union.

"He is simply not ready to govern and not prepared to lead," she said.

"And with Brexit negotiations due to begin only 11 days after polling day, he is not prepared for those negotiations."

She claimed Mr Corbyn had "lurched chaotically from half-baked plan to half-baked plan" since the Brexit vote, adopting seven different approaches to EU withdrawal.

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionTheresa May and Jeremy Corbyn were questioned live on TV ahead of the general election.
Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionThe two leaders faced questions on the NHS and the economy

She accused him of promising to tear up the government's Brexit white paper and ditch its Great Repeal Bill, which she said would set back the process of negotiation further.

"This is not the time for a weak government and a weak leader to be making it up as they go along."

Mr Corbyn's decision to rule out walking out of Brexit talks without a deal "means being willing to accept any deal, however bad, signing up to any bill, however vast, accepting any terms, however unreasonable", she said.

But shadow education secretary Angela Rayner claimed the way Theresa May had handled Brexit negotiations so far "has made us look like ogres across Europe"

"If you see the pictures now, Theresa May is at the back of the queue whenever she's talking to the leaders of Europe," she told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

"We're a laughing stock across Europe and we don't need to be."

Related Topics