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Sat, 15 June 2024

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Jeremy Corbyn to meet Michel Barnier in bid to ‘break the Brexit logjam’

2 min read

Jeremy Corbyn will meet with senior European officials in Brussels today in an attempt to end the impasse in negotiations between the UK and EU, Labour has said.


The Labour leader is set to hold talks with the bloc’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier and the president of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani.

He will be accompanied by Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer and Shadow International Trade Secretary Barry Gardiner. The visit will also involve bilateral meetings with the Prime Ministers of Italy, Portugal and Sweden.

Labour said the meeting will allow Mr Corbyn to lay out the party's own priorities, alongside attempting to break the ongoing "Brexit logjam" between the UK and EU.

The trip comes as progress in talks between the Government and EU looks set to be delayed, given the failure to agree positions on the early priorities of free movement, the final divorce bill and Northern Ireland's border.

Mr Corbyn said it was in the interests of both sides to resolve the outstanding issues and progress to negotiating a future trade relationship in order to avoid a “no deal” outcome.

“A no-deal Brexit would be a bad deal for Britain, threatening jobs and living standards,” he said.

“It would also harm our European neighbours. That’s why it’s in all our interests to increase the pressure for real progress in the current talks and move on to negotiations about our future trading relationship."

The Labour leader also took a swipe at Chancellor Philip Hammond’s comments last week in which he branded European negotiators “the enemy”, before later apologising for using a “poor choice of words”.

“Far from viewing the European Union as ‘the enemy’, Labour would conduct negotiations in a spirit of cooperation and mutual respect with the aim of achieving a strong settlement for Britain and a new relationship with Europe,” he said.

He added: “The Government is lurching towards a no-deal Brexit, egged on by a powerful faction which wants to use Brexit to turn Britain into a deregulated tax haven.

“I am unapologetic in taking every opportunity to seek to influence the final Brexit deal in the interests of the many, not just the few.”

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