Senior Tories tell May to steer clear of Brexit negotiations with Labour

Leroy Wright
February 12, 2019

Mr Barclay was said to have held "constructive" talks on Monday night with the EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier in Brussels.

British Prime Minister Theresa May has sought a compromise with opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn in hopes of securing his backing for a divorce deal with the European Union.

Mrs Leadsom said there was "no chance" Mrs May would adopt Mr Corbyn's "view of the world", adding: "The Prime Minister has been absolutely clear we're leaving the EU, we're leaving the customs union, we're leaving the single market".

On the Northern Ireland backstop, Mr Johnson said: "The argument is now about how to get out of the backstop".

Speaking in Dublin ahead of a series of meetings with unions, business and political leaders, Sir Keir again called on Mrs May to have a vote on the customs union.

"I think that you would need to have a time limit".

A spokesman for Mrs May also said the PM would make a statement in parliament on Tuesday to update MPs on the latest Brexit developments.

"I am not clear why you believe it would be preferable to seek a say in future European Union trade deals rather than the ability to strike our own deal?"

And the PM argues that the political declaration - the part of her Brexit deal that sets out what the future UK-EU relationship will look like - provides numerous benefits of Mr Corbyn's customs union proposal.

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"There is no doubt that our economy is being overshadowed by the uncertainty created by the Brexit process", he told Sky News.

While the prime minister says existing rights will be protected, there will be no automatic upgrade in line with the EU.

May will ask lawmakers on Thursday to reaffirm that they support her bid to renegotiate the backstop, a government source said.

This is of huge economic importance to United Kingdom businesses so I'm delighted to be here in Bern today, ensuring continuity for 15,000 British exporters. Not only will this help to support jobs throughout the United Kingdom but it will also be a solid foundation for us to build an even stronger trading relationship with Switzerland as we leave the EU. "But, the solution to this has to be to get Jeremy Corbyn, or the Labour Party, or indeed Parliament as a whole, to come behind a deal".

There appears little prospect of an imminent breakthrough with Brussels, and Mrs May might not bring her deal back for a decisive vote this month.

She said it was possible to pass bills "quite quickly" with "goodwill" from the Commons and Lords, but added: "It's just not possible to say how quickly it could be done, but obviously it depends on the way in which there is adequate debate on the meaningful vote and that's what the Prime Minister is determined to do".

Labour MP Lisa Nandy told the BBC's Politics Live that there were between 40 and 60 of her colleagues "who are actively looking for ways to support" a revised Brexit deal.

"Whether it ends well, whether there is a smooth exit given by customs unions as predicated by some, or whether it's as a result of a brutal exit on March 29 without extension of notice, it's not going to be as good as it is now".

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