London, Aug. 19, 2019 Britain’s parliament needs to be recalled immediately to discuss Brexit, the opposition Labour Party’s finance spokesman John McDonnell on Monday said, after leaked official documents forecast possible food, fuel, and medicine shortages.
Britain has less than 74 days to resolve a three-year crisis that is pitting the country against the EU, its closest trade partner, and parliament against the executive.
The outcome would mark its most significant geopolitical move since World War Two.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson says Britain would leave the EU with or without a transition deal on Oct. 31.
His calls for the EU to renegotiate the existing exit deal which have so far been rejected in Brussels.
That puts Britain on course for an unmanaged exit, which an official assessment published by the Sunday Times said would jam ports, increase the risk of public protests and severely disrupt the world’s fifth-largest economy.
McDonnell, the Labour Party’s second most powerful man, said that the looming crisis demanded parliament’s summer break be brought to an early end.
“There’s a need now to bring MPs (members of parliament) back together again because we need time now to really have a proper debate and discussion about this,” McDonnell, a close ally of Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, said.
His comments add weight to a demand made on Sunday, signed by more than 100 lawmakers, to recall parliament to discuss what they called a “national emergency”.
Parliament is currently not due to sit until Sept. 3, when it would reconvene for a short session before breaking up again to allow for annual party conferences.
Johnson would make his first foreign trip as prime minister this week, meeting German Chancellor, Angela Merkel in Berlin on Wednesday and French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris on Thursday.
He would tell them that the British parliament cannot stop Brexit and that a new deal must be agreed if Britain is to avoid leaving the EU without one.
Similarly, British opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn is unsuitable for leading a possible government of national unity, rebel Conservative Party lawmaker Dominic Grieve said on Monday.
“I don’t see how he could lead a government of national unity,” Grieve said, adding that other people could lead such a government.
“But I am perfectly prepared to cooperate with him and indeed with anybody else in the House of Commons to make sure that no-deal, which is being threatened by the current government, doesn’t happen,” Grieve said. (Reuters/NAN)