Published: Fri, April 05, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Government and Labour plan more talks to break Brexit deadlock

Government and Labour plan more talks to break Brexit deadlock

Opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said on Wednesday that Prime Minister Theresa May had not moved far enough in a first round of crisis talks aimed at breaking the domestic deadlock over Britain's exit from the EU.

"Today both sets of negotiating teams met for. detailed technical discussions".

Mrs May hopes to agree a Brexit strategy with the Labour leader or to bring the issue to a head in the Commons ahead of an European Union leaders' summit in Brussels next Wednesday.

She told the BBC she had not had a "specific conversation" with Mr Corbyn about a referendum if he were to become Prime Minister, but that "there may well be a point" where that happens.

Both the Tories and Labour made terse, cautious statements on the progress of the talks.

If such an extension is not granted, as it stands the United Kingdom will leave the European Union without a deal on 12th of April.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she was still hopeful that a no-deal Brexit could be avoided as "where there's a will there's a way".

Circling the wagons: German Chancellor Angela Merkel meets Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar in Dublin. "We have to be successful and we hope for a solution that we can agree together with Britain".

Nicola Sturgeon has said it would be "more than passing strange" for Jeremy Corbyn to oppose a second Scottish independence referendum.

"But of course, any further extension must require and must have a credible and realistic way forward".

The opposition within Labour to another referendum came at a time when the idea is gaining momentum in Westminster. "There was no agreement reached on that".

The Labour negotiating team
The Labour negotiating team

With Britain still feverishly discussing its Brexit plans, the other 27 European Union states are preparing their joint stance for a top-level summit with British Prime Minister Theresa May next week. "A second referendum would be exploited by the far right, damage the trust of many core Labour voters and reduce our chances of winning a general election".

Signatories included veteran backbenchers Sir Kevin Barron, Dennis Skinner and Ronnie Campbell, former minister Caroline Flint and MPs for Leave-voting areas of the North and Midlands including Gloria De Piero, Sarah Champion and Gareth Snell.

The letter reflects deep fissures within Labour over whether to demand a confirmatory vote as part of any compromise.

Another referendum - called a "confirmatory referendum" - is Labour policy decided at the last party conference.

The 25 lawmakers, nearly all from areas which voted to leave the European Union in a 2016 referendum, said the talks "represent a real opportunity" for Corbyn, a way to get a deal which would meet Labour's demands for a Brexit that protected workers' rights.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Mr Hancock continued: "He is also extremely unsafe on security matters. But I also want to deliver Brexit".

With time running out before Mrs May must inform European Council president Donald Tusk of the UK's proposal, Downing Street appeared to indicate that it may not be necessary for MPs to approve any consensus deal ahead of the summit.

Mrs May will be in the Commons for Prime Minister's Question Time.

The bill passed through the lower chamber, the House of Commons, by a single vote late on Wednesday and is now in the House of Lords, an unelected body whose role is to refine and scrutinize legislation before it is approved.

But there was little sign of a conclusion in time to table a motion for a Commons debate on Monday by the Thursday evening deadline, leaving only Tuesday next week - the eve of the summit - for a possible vote.

A cross party group of backbench MPs got the Bill through the Commons by just one vote yesterday after less than five hours of debate.

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