Let's make a Brexit deal, UK PM May tells Labour opposition

06 May, 2019, 04:12 | Author: Trevor Moore
  • Pound Faces Jolt as Local Elections Give Impetus to Brexit Talks

British Prime Minister Theresa May has stepped up calls on Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn to agree a cross-party deal to leave the European Union (EU), following poor results for both parties in local elections on Thursday. "Let's do a deal", she wrote in the Mail on Sunday.

The Conservatives lost 1,334 councillors, while Labour failed to make expected gains, instead losing 82 seats.

Shockwaves have hit the party since 29th of March, he said, and local election losses a "shockwave at the leadership".

But suggestions that May's government might make a deal that accepts Labour's demand for close economic ties with the European Union have infuriated pro-Brexit Conservatives, who are demanding May's resignation. Labour Party politicians are wary about making a deal that could be seen as helping the archrival Conservatives deliver Brexit.

"The longer that takes, the greater the risk we will not leave at all".

Eurosceptic lawmaker John Redwood tweeted on Sunday that a cross-party agreement that amounted to staying in the bloc was "the last thing we need". But even if the Conservative and Labour Party leaderships reach a Brexit compromise, there is no guarantee that it will pass through parliament, which has roundly rejected May's proposals three times already.

"The Committee has to sit again now, urgently, and decide that either the Prime Minister sets the immediate date for departure or, I'm afraid, they must do it for her", he said.

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Foreign minister Jeremy Hunt also saw a "glimmer of hope" that there might be a deal with Labour soon.

"A deal on a customs union would be deeply divisive for the Conservatives", he said.

"In the last week government ministers and officials presented Labour with a new offer on a customs arrangement that would effectively see the United Kingdom remain in the key aspects of a customs union with the EU", the sources familiar with the talks said. "I can't think that any other party in the United Kingdom has raised money like that". "Now it might be we find some form of deal that diminishes that desire but it will be very hard to achieve and only time will tell on that", he told BBC Radio 5 Live's Pienaar's Politics.

The political editor of the Spectator magazine, which has close links to the Conservatives, said in a column for the Sun newspaper that there had been an agreement to an initial "comprehensive customs arrangement" very like a customs union.

Labour responded by saying any deal should be done quickly, but accused May of leaking details of the compromise under discussion and jeopardising the talks.

Moreover, a temporary customs union is likely to raise EU concerns that it could lead to customs checks on the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland if it later breaks down, something EU member Ireland objects to strongly.

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