Thursday 22 August 2019

Corbyn's election plan is doomed to fail, warns Howlin

Labour Party leader Brendan Howlin Picture: Collins
Labour Party leader Brendan Howlin Picture: Collins
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn’s plan to try force a general election is doomed to failure, his Irish counterpart has said.

But Brendan Howlin has said that a failed attempt to collapse the UK government could result in Mr Corbyn finally backing a second referendum.

Speaking ahead of what is likely to be an intense day of activity in both the House of Commons and Leinster House, Mr Howlin said his UK colleagues are set “to push for a general election” in the coming hours.

He said that based on current predications that power grab is likely to fail.

“After that what will the British Labour Party do? According to the resolution that was agreed at conference, they will then be in a position to support a second referendum and I certainly would that is what they will do.”

Ultimately though, Mr Howlin said it is “anybody’s guess” as to what will emerge in the next 24 hours.

He said the Irish Government needs to up the ante in terms of its no-deal preparations.

Ministers are meeting in Dublin to discuss a range of contingency areas including medical supplies and transport.

Mr Howlin said the Government must not attempt to keep any of the plans secret.

Meanwhile Fianna Fáil has indicated the party will support any emergency legislation required to mitigate against the worst of Brexit.

The party’s finance spokesman Michael McGrath said they will give “whatever time is required” in the Dáil and Seanad.

The Irish Independent revealed this morning that the Government’s legislative plan for the next three months includes just six pieces of priority law that are not directly related to Brexit.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar will propose a Brexit “omnibus” to the Dáil in March, consisting of at least 17 pieces of legislation.

Mr McGrath said: “From our perspective in Fianna Fáil, we have been crystal clear that we will support the national interest, we will support legislation in this House that is designed to protect Ireland insofar as we can from the worst affects of Brexit.”

However, he added that there “can be no suggestions of rushing critical, emergency legislation through at the last moment”.

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