Thursday 22 August 2019 9:53 am

Corbyn convenes Remainer alliance meeting

Jeremy Corbyn will next week meet with leaders of various opposition parties, as well as senior backbench Tories, as the plan to block a no-deal Brexit gathers pace.

The Labour leader has written to 10 MPs, including Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson, Tories Dominic Grieve, Oliver Letwin, Guto Bebb and Caroline Spelman, and SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford to arrange a meeting for next Tuesday.

Independent former Tory Anna Soubry – who was conspicuously absent from Corbyn’s initial overture – and Nick Boles have also been invited to attend.

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The letter urged the politicos to come together in order to discuss “all tactics available to prevent No Deal.”

Corbyn said “the country is heading into a constitutional and political storm“, urging the other MPs to work with him to ”do everything we can to stop it.”

It comes as Boris Johnson is riding high on Angela Merkel’s positive-sounding comments ahead of the pair’s bilateral meeting in Berlin last night. She told reporters she saw “possibilities” for breaking the deadlock over the Irish backstop, noting that it was only required as “a placeholder” until a solution was found.

If that solution was found before the deadline – “maybe” within 30 days – there would be no need for the backstop, Merkel said as Johnson clenched his fist and mouthed “come on!“.

But the rebel alliance – which also includes Green MP Caroline Lucas and Plaid Cymru’s Westminster leader Liz Savolle Roberts – is leaving nothing to chance.

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Swinson, who had originally refused to meet Corbyn, said: “I look forward to discussing how we can stop the disastrous consequences of no-deal and will be asking Jeremy Corbyn if he is open to all options to prevent it. We have to focus on plans that have a chance of success.”

Blackford tweeted: “The way to avoid no deal is for Parliament to legislate to remove the cliff edge of no deal Brexit and extend article 50. The SNP will work with others to do so but in the end to make sure Scotland gets to a safe landing place we need to have a referendum on Scottish Independence.”