Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn look set to hold further talks over Brexit.
The prime minister struck a conciliatory tone in her response to a letter from Mr Corbyn, which set out his 5 calls for for a Brexit deal.
She mentioned she wished the 2 events to focus on “alternative arrangements” to the Irish backstop – a dedication to keep away from a tough border.
But there stays a divide over the customs union, though she didn’t reject any of his situations outright.
No date has been set for the subsequent assembly.
Meanwhile, Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay and EU negotiator Michel Barnier will hold talks in Strasbourg later, because the EU and UK Brexit negotiating groups focus on proposed adjustments to the deal.
Writing her response to his letter of last Wednesday, Mrs May instructed the Labour chief: “It is good to see that we agree that the UK should leave the European Union with a deal and that the urgent task at hand is to find a deal that honours our commitments to the people of Northern Ireland, can command support in Parliament and can be negotiated with the EU – not to seek an election or second referendum.”
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This is regardless of Mr Corbyn repeatedly saying there must be a normal election if Mrs May can not get a deal by means of Parliament. He has additionally confronted strain from a few of his MPs to push for an additional public vote on Brexit.
Labour requested for 5 adjustments to be made to the Brexit deal:
- A “permanent and comprehensive UK-wide customs union” with the EU, with the identical exterior tariff. It would give the UK a say on any future commerce offers that the EU might strike.
- The UK to be intently aligned with the Single Market
- To keep in line with the EU on rights and protections for staff
- A promise to take part in EU companies and funding programmes on the atmosphere, schooling and business regulation
- Agreements with the EU on safety, akin to entry to the European Arrest Warrant database
BBC political correspondent Iain Watson mentioned it seems there are some potential obstacles to a deal.
Mrs May doesn’t agree along with his first demand on the customs union, and wrote: “I am not clear why you believe it would be preferable to seek a say in future EU trade deals rather than the ability to strike our own deals?”
The present Political Declaration, setting out the objectives for the longer term relationship between the UK and the EU, “explicitly provides for the benefits of a customs union – no tariffs, fees, charges or quantitative restrictions across all sectors and no checks on rules of origin”, Mrs May instructed Mr Corbyn.
It additionally recognises the event of the UK’s impartial commerce coverage, she added.
Mrs May mentioned securing frictionless commerce for items – which suggests making an attempt to do enterprise between the UK and the European Union with the minimal of tariffs, quotas, customs checks and different obstructions – was “one of our key negotiating objectives”.
She added: “The elementary negotiating problem right here is the EU’s place that fully frictionless commerce is just doable if the UK stays within the single market.
“This would imply accepting free motion, which Labour’s 2017 General Election manifesto made clear you don’t assist.”
In response to Labour’s third demand, to keep in line with the EU if staff’ rights enhance in Europe, the prime minister mentioned present rights shall be protected.
But there shall be no automated improve in step with the EU, she mentioned. However, she mentioned she can be ready to commit to asking Parliament if it wished to comply with swimsuit every time.
She agreed with Mr Corbyn’s fourth level – that the federal government helps collaborating in EU programmes – however mentioned that is already set out within the political declaration.
And she mentioned the federal government shared Labour’s ambition in relation to safety after Brexit. She outlined a number of measures which had been agreed – together with “arrangements akin to the European Arrest Warrant”.
But she mentioned the problem got here from the EU, which is limiting how a lot the UK participates in joint safety after Brexit.
“Labour’s support for this position going into the next phase will I hope send a powerful signal that the EU should reconsider its stance,” she mentioned.
The letter concludes with Mrs May saying she appeared ahead to the 2 events assembly “as soon as possible”.
Labour is but to reply to the letter.
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