Theresa May will warn that Britain needs strong leadership in the Brexit negotiations
In a devastating attack, the Prime Minister will raise the prospect of the “weak leadership” offered by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and his lack of a plan to deal with Britain leaving the European Union.
Today’s speech in the North West of England follows a live TV grilling last night for Mrs May and Mr Corbyn on Sky News and Channel 4. Mr Corbyn, who faced up to an interrogation from Jeremy Paxman and a studio audience first, faced serious questions over his past support for terrorist murderers in the IRA, Hezbollah and Hamas.
The Labour leader, who has in the past called for MI5 and the Army to be abolished, was also asked why he wants to go “soft on foreign policy” by ending the war against Islamic State in the Middle East.
Mr Corbyn said he wants “peace talks” in Syria and said the coalition fighting IS is “complex”.
Then Northern Irish audience member Calum McNeil took him on over his past support of the IRA.
Mr Corbyn insisted he was part of the “peace process” and had worked to get talks going to end the conflict. But Mr McNeil pointed out Mr Corbyn had gone to an event to “honour” eight IRA terrorists who had been killed on their way to kill British policemen.
Mrs May highlighted Mr Corbyn’s lack of a plan on immigration
He said: “You didn’t answer my question. You have openly supported the IRA in the past.” Mr Corbyn also denied he was “lacklustre” over Brexit, but insisted “we accept the result”.
Jeremy Corbyn is in no position to provide that kind of leadership
However, he again refused to set a cap on immigration. He said: “I don’t want to be held to any commitment.” The question follows indications he will strike a free movement deal with the EU and open the doors to immigrants.
Another past Labour supporter and small business owner described his policies of putting corporation tax, VAT on private education and forcing businesses to pay high wages as “ruthless” and said it had made it “impossible” to vote Labour.
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The PM warned the European Commission has adopted 'an aggressive negotiating position' on Brexit
His attack came amid Labour plans to hike corporation tax to 28 per cent as part of a package which the Institute for Fiscal Studies says will take Britain back to the highest level of tax in 70 years. But Mr Corbyn insisted his far Left policies were “bold” in the tradition of Labour.
He was then tackled on his opposition to nuclear weapons. But he said: “I want a world free of the end of the danger of nuclear holocaust.”
Brexit Negotiations: Britain's sternest enemies Tue, April 4, 2017
According to a new index, the EU27 countries fall into three groups: hard-core, hard and soft. These are the countries with the highest scores which indicate a fairly strong opposition to Britain’s position
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France has the highest score in the index at 32.5
He avoided saying whether he would use the deterrent in the case of last resort.
In her speech today, Mrs May is expected to say the European Commission “is adopting an aggressive negotiating position, which can only be met by strong leadership on behalf of Britain,” adding: “Jeremy Corbyn is in no position to provide that kind of leadership. He has no plan to deliver Brexit, and he has already admitted he would give control of our borders and control of our laws back to Brussels.”
Mr Corbyn faced up to an interrogation from Jeremy Paxman and a studio audience
Meanwhile, the Conservatives highlighted the latest negotiating documents released by the European Commission – including one on the so-called “divorce bill” which calls for a “single financial settlement” covering all the UK’s outstanding liabilities.
“This single financial settlement should be based on the principle that the United Kingdom must honour its share of the financing of all the obligations undertaken while it was a member of the Union,” the paper stated.
The paper does not put a figure on the settlement but previous reports from Brussels have suggested it could be at least £50billion – a sum flatly rejected by ministers.