Corbyn “has been willing to sit down with Hamas, Hezbollah and the IRA without preconditions, yet he won’t meet me to talk about Brexit,” May declared.
By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News
British Prime Minister Theresa May took a sharp jab at Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn in Parliament Wednesday when she asked why he refuses to meet with her to discuss the main issue roiling British politics today.
“The right honorable gentleman has been willing to sit down with Hamas, Hezbollah and the IRA without preconditions, yet he won’t meet me to talk about Brexit,” she said during the weekly session reserved for MPs to ask questions of the prime minister in the House of Commons.
Brexit – the British exit from the European Union — is supposed to take place on March 29 but has yet to be approved by Parliament. There is no majority to approve the deal May had negotiated with the European Union.
The Labour leader referred to Hamas and Hezbollah terrorists as his “friends” in 2015, when he told a meeting of the ‘Stop The War Coalition’ that it was his “pleasure and honor” to invite them to speak at an event in Parliament. Corbyn has been a vociferous critic of Israel for years, and most British Jews consider him to be an anti-Semite, which he denies.
Corbyn replied that he had offered to meet May last fall but now refuses to do so if she does not budge on any of her red lines. In particular, Corbyn is insisting that May rule out leaving the EU with no deal, and he wants Britain to stay in a customs union with the EU.
“It appears that while the door to her office may be open, apparently the minds inside it are completely closed,” the Labour leader said, repeating a jibe used by one of his MPs earlier in the week.
May shot back questions about what he thought a customs union would specifically look like, adding that if he refuses to meet with her to discuss it, “there’s only one conclusion: he hasn’t got a clue.”
May has been trying to tweak the Brexit deal by securing EU approval for certain changes before bringing it back to another vote in Parliament next week. However, EU officials have publicly nixed the idea of reopening negotiations.