Crisis talks to broker Brexit deal ‘have gone as far as they can’
Crisis talks to broker a Brexit deal between the government and Labour have collapsed, Jeremy Corbyn has announced.
The Labour leader said the negotiations have “gone as far as they can” because “we have been unable to bridge important policy gaps between us”.
He complained that as a leadership race kicks off in the Conservative Party, “the position of the government has become ever more unstable and its authority eroded”.
Mr Corbyn insisted the talks so far had been “detailed” and “constructive”, adding that Labour would consider any new proposals made to break the Brexit deadlock.
But he confirmed the party would be voting against the law paving the way for Mrs May’s Brexit deal next month if it remains unchanged.
The compromise talks were convened six weeks ago, when Theresa May lost the third vote in parliament on her EU withdrawal agreement.
She called for a “national unity” approach to deliver Brexit after being forced to delay Britain’s departure date twice.
Downing Street confirmed there were no more talks planned with Labour after Mr Corbyn’s statement.
The prime minister’s spokesman said she still believed MPs had a duty to find a way to deliver Brexit and added the government is considering its next steps.
Reacting to the news, Tory MP Simon Clarke said: “Thank god. They ought never to have happened.”
A new set of binding “indicative votes” are now likely, having been promised by the prime minister.
But they would need to be scheduled speedily as parliament is due to wind down next Thursday for nearly two weeks.
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As soon as it returns, MPs will vote on the “Withdrawal Agreement Bill” – the legislation that would convert the Brexit deal into a legally-binding treaty.
Mrs May and Mr Corbyn have faced pressure from some backbenchers to wind up the talks given the lack of a breakthrough.
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