FORMER Labour prime minister Gordon Brown has predicted Theresa May could be out of a job if the government loses a vote this week on its Brexit legislation.
Mr Brown predicted that the fixed-term parliament arrangement ‘makes it possible’ for the Conservatives to survive in power, but warned the vote could signal a ‘point of further crisis’ for Mrs May’s government.
Asked what would happen if the government loses the customs union vote when the EU (Withdrawal) Bill returns to the Commons tomorrow and Wednesday, Mr Brown (above) told BBC’s The Andrew Marr Show: ‘There is potentially the chance of a change of prime minister, but I don’t think at that point they will want to give up as a government and I think the five-year parliament makes it possible for them to survive.
‘So I think the issues come down to whether the meaningful vote, after the customs union vote, the meaningful vote, means that Parliament rejects or potentially could reject the whole settlement, and that’s the point of further crisis.’ Mr Brown said the customs union vote was ‘difficult for the Brexiteers’. He said Mrs May’s proposal for a longer transition period so effectively ‘we were in the customs union until 2023’ would mean Europe becoming the hot topic of the next general election.
On Ireland he said: ‘If you want a frictionless border… then you’ve not only got to adhere to some form of customs union or partnership, you’ve also got to adopt some of the single market regulations.’
He said none of the options at the moment was seen as satisfactory, adding that people’s concerns over Europe related to lost jobs, stagnant wages and communities feeling left out. On Labour’s track record on immigration, Mr Brown said: ‘We did not understand the fears and concerns people would have about the levels of migration in the country.’
He described Jeremy Corbyn as a ‘phenomenon’, but said the Labour leader ‘is going to accept that nobody goes on forever, we’re all phases’.