Government’s lack of progress on Brexit ridiculous, says Corbyn

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Jeremy Corbyn has said the government’s failure to produce a white paper on Brexit is “ridiculous”.

The Labour leader said the government has made no progress after two years and raised concerns about a no deal outcome to negotiations.

The Labour leader said the government has made no progress after two years. Picture: John Linton/PA Wire

The Labour leader said the government has made no progress after two years. Picture: John Linton/PA Wire

He said: “It looks dangerously like (there will be a no deal outcome) because this government has two years to negotiate, two years to at least set out what its position is and they haven’t even produced a white paper, and apparently they are only going to do that after the cabinet’s weekend in Chequers this weekend.

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“This is getting quite ridiculous, we’re looking at July 2018 and the leaving date is March 2019, and they still haven’t produced a white paper.”

He added: “This government has had two years, made no progress at all and keeps on threatening to do special deals with Trump or somebody else which would undermine what is almost half of all our trade.”

Speaking later in a speech at a rally in Livingston, West Lothian, he told the audience: “A white paper after two years and it’s only going to be produced after she’s hosted a pyjama party for the cabinet in Chequers next weekend.”

Questioned about Danny Dyer calling former prime minister David Cameron a “twat” on a live TV programme also featuring Mr Corbyn, the Labour leader said: “It was short and to the point, and Danny Dyer has a very special way of saying things, but was expressing a frustration that an awful lot of people feel.

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“Danny Dyer is somebody that wants to live in a country that has a degree of equality about it, better than it is now, and he says it like is, and I must say I like Danny Dyer a lot.”

Mr Corbyn was joined by Scottish party leader Richard Leonard, MSP Neil Findlay and Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Livingston Rhea Wolfson for the rally in the run-up to the 70th anniversary of the health service.

He spoke about persistent health inequality across the UK and said Labour would provide extra funding for the NHS and deal with the mental health crisis.

He said the Welsh Labour government had increased NHS funding by 5% in a year and called on the Scottish Government to do the same.

Mr Leonard said: “There’s no getting away from the fact that the NHS is massively under-resourced and under-funded, and we’ve got to face up as society and understand that we may have to look at taxation.”

He indicated a wealth tax is under consideration along with income tax and highlighted figures showing a forecast funding gap of more than £150 million this financial year across Scottish health boards.

He said: “We need to understand there is a funding crisis at the heart of the NHS and the SNP are too timid to tackle it.”

The SNP reiterated calls for Labour to back staying in the EU single market and customs union, accusing them of backing a “hard Tory Brexit”.