Jeremy Corbyn tells Michel Barnier: Labour is ready to negotiate Brexit
Labour is ready to negotiate a Brexit “that works for both sides”, Jeremy Corbyn has declared ahead of a meeting with EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier.
The Labour leader will travel to Brussels flanked by his Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer, Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott and Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones.
It comes as the Government prepares to publish its so-called Repeal Bill to transpose EU law onto the British statute book before Britain quits the bloc in 2019.
But opposition parties threatened to derail the legislation – with a list of demands from Labour and an ominous warning from Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron saying it will be “hell”.
Mr Corbyn said ahead of his meeting with Mr Barnier: "In contrast to the Conservatives' megaphone diplomacy, we will conduct relations with our European neighbours respectfully and in the spirit of friendship.
"Our strong links with our European sister parties gives Labour an advantage in reaching an outcome that works for both sides".
He said Labour would offer a “jobs first” Brexit – but the party’s position on key issues such as the customs union and what its immigration policy would be remains unclear.
Meanwhile Brexit Secretary David Davis vowed to “work with anyone” to make sure Brexit happens as he prepared to unveil the so-called Repeal Bill, formally titled the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill.
The intention of the bill is to ensure EU laws seamlessly become UK laws on the day Britain drops out of the bloc.
But Mr Farron warned the Government: “If you found the Article 50 bill difficult, you should be under no illusion this will be hell.”
And Labour published a list of six demands with a warning from Mr Starmer that the party was “putting the Government on notice”.
Among them the party wants commitments that EU workers’ rights protections won’t be watered down and that that the European Charter of Fundamental Rights is included in UK law.
PoliticsHome provides the most comprehensive coverage of UK politics anywhere on the web, offering high quality original reporting and analysis: Subscribe