Labour warns Brexit talks with Government will fail unless Theresa May ditches red lines

Posted On: 
10th April 2019

Talks aimed at reaching a Brexit deal between the Government and opposition are doomed to fail unless Theresa May ditches her red lines, Labour has warned.

Keir Starmer and other members of Labour's negotiating team leave the Cabinet Office on Tuesday.
PA Images

A spokesman for the party admitted the two sides were still "a long way" apart a week on from when their negotiations began.

The discussions broke up without agreement once again on Tuesday, despite the Prime Minister's initial hope that a deal could be done before Wednesday night's European Council summit.

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It is thought that the major stumbling block continues to be the Government's refusal to agree to Labour's key demand of a customs union with the EU after Brexit.

A spokesman for Mrs May insisted the talks have been "constructive" and that there remains "a shared determination to see what can be done".

But a Labour spokesman painted a gloomier picture of how the talks are going.

He said: "Jeremy (Corbyn) made clear that we would enter into those talks in a serious way without setting limits and to explore the possibilities of coming to find an alternative plan that could win support in Parliament, be negotiated with the EU and bring the country together. That’s the way we’ve approached the talks.

"They are being conducted in a serious, detailed and engaged way. But at the same time, as Jeremy, Becky Long Bailey and Keir Starmer have all said at different points, we’ve yet to see clear evidence of the kind of real change and compromise that would be necessary to reach an agreement.

"The Government side has been engaged in the detail explaining its position and how it sees its own deal, which has been rejected three times in Parliament. But there really is going to need to be a move off their red lines in a substantive way if we’re going to reach an agreement."

The spokesman added: "We're not walking off the talks, but this process obviously has to move forward."

Further negotiations between the two sides are due to take place on Thursday.