LONDON / BUCHAREST (Reuters) – Prime Minister Theresa May has not yet moved the "red lines" that have blocked a deal for Britain to leave the EU, said opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn on Saturday after May launched talks with him in a final council to save Brexit.
British opposition Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn leaves his home in London, UK, April 3, 2019. REUTERS / Henry Nicholls
With Britain due to leave the block on April 12 and no sign of her minority government could pass an agreement through parliament alone, can turn to the Labor Party leading Corbyn in recent days hoping to secure a two-tier agreement.
An agreement with Corbyn could be May's last chance to deliver Brexit without either a long delay or to go without anyone at all. But Corbyn said the prime minister had not yet shown the flexibility that Labor would need to say yes.
"I'm waiting to see the red lines moving," he told the BBC. "I hope we can reach a decision this week in Parliament that prevents a crash."
No negotiations have been held between the two parties over the weekend, a source told Reuters. May 1965's decision to find a deal with Corbyn was an astounding turn of months after saying her Brexit plan was the only possible course. It reflects weeks of high drama in parliament that saw corn agreement rejected by a historic majority, but there is no consensus on an alternative plan.
While both major parties have said they are required to complete the results of Britain's 2016 referendum, voted to leave the EU, Labor has long demanded a softer break than May has been willing to consider.
In particular, the workforce seeks a customs union with the EU after the UK leaves, which would cross one of the "red lines" which could be at the beginning of the negotiations by preventing the UK from setting its own trade charges.
Many employers will also have another referendum on the terms of the Brexit, which May says would be a fundamental threat to Britain's democracy after the vote to leave. Her decision to open negotiations with Occupational Diseases gave Brexit supporters in corn conservative party and split her closet.
Over time, May has asked EU leaders to postpone Britain's exit from the block until June 30. The EU, which gave her a two-week extension the last time she asked, insists that she should first show a viable plan to secure agreement on her three-year-old divorce agreement in the UK Parliament.
EU leaders have also indicated that they would be more likely to offer a longer extension of up to one year to avoid introducing a new deadline within a few months that would cause another crisis in the crisis.
Finance Secretary Philip Hammond told reporters in Bucharest on Saturday that he was "optimistic" for reaching some sort of agreement with the Work and that the government had no red lines in the negotiations.
Hammond said he expected several document exchanges Saturday between the government and Labor in an attempt to reach an agreement. He also signaled optimism about next Wednesday's EU summit and said most EU countries agreed on the need to delay Brexit.
"Most colleagues I speak to accept we will use longer to complete this process," he said on the sidelines of a meeting of EU finance ministers.
In 2016, Britons voted for Brexit with a margin of 52 to 48 percent. The two main parties, the parliament and the nation as a whole remain deeply divided over the terms of departure, or even over whether to leave.
A delay in Brexit of more than a few months would require Britain to participate in May 23 elections to the European Parliament. It's a statement May and many in her conservative party are eager to avoid, fearing a setback from voters.
"Going to the elections to the Conservative Party or to the Labor Party and telling our constituents why we have not been able to deliver Brexit, I think would be an existential threat," said Education Minister Nadhim Zahawi. BBC radio on Saturday.
"I would go ahead and say … it would be the suicide of the Conservative Party."