JEREMY CORBYN will be in Brussels today to discuss Labour’s priorities for Brexit with EU politicians and negotiators.
This comes after PM Theresa May and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker agreed to “accelerate” efforts to strike a deal but offered little sign of tangible progress following their working dinner in the Belgian capital on Monday.
The EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier warned last week that the discussions remained “deadlocked,” mainly over Britain’s leaving fee.
Labour said that the government’s plans for Brexit were in “paralysis” amid speculation that the Brexit Bill will be delayed again.
Mr Corbyn would be attempting to break the stalemate between Britain and the EU during his visit with shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer and shadow international trade secretary Barry Gardiner.
Labour’s priorities for leaving the EU would be jobs, tariff-free access to the single market and guaranteeing the rights of EU citizens living in Britain while seeking reciprocal arrangements for British citizens living in mainland Europe, Mr Corbyn said.
He added: “As the government splits and Brexit bungling become ever more damaging, Labour stands ready to take up responsibility for the Brexit negotiations.
“A no-deal Brexit would be a bad deal for Britain, threatening jobs and living standards. 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.
“Far from viewing the
European Union as ‘the enemy,’ Labour would conduct negotiations in a spirit of co-operation and mutual respect with the aim of achieving a strong settlement for Britain and a new relationship with Europe.”
Mr Starmer said there was “chaos at the heart of government” over the approach to leaving the EU.
He added: “Theresa May cannot unite her Cabinet or her party behind this deeply flawed Bill. There are now serious questions about whether the Prime Minister can deliver Brexit.”
The Brexit Department said that no formal date has been set for the Bill’s return to the Commons. It cleared its first Commons hurdle on September 11 but has not been debated since.
During Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday, Mr Corbyn mocked simmering Cabinet tensions over Brexit.
Having noticed Home Secretary Amber Rudd was sat in between Chancellor Philip Hammond and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, he quipped: “It’s very interesting the Home Secretary is necessary to keep the two protagonists apart.”