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THE government’s refusal to shift on any of its Brexit red lines during its cross-party talks with Labour has been “disappointing,” shadow business secretary Rebecca Long Bailey said yesterday.
More talks aimed at breaking the Brexit deadlock will take place this week ahead of PM Theresa May attending an emergency EU summit that she hopes will result in extending Article 50 to keep Britain in the EU until the end of June – three months after the promised departure date.
Ms Long Bailey told BBC’s Andrew Marr Show that Labour had discussed how any changes to the Brexit agreement “could be entrenched” to protect it from any future Conservative leader, such as Boris Johnson, from ripping it up.
She said a customs union was “defined in international law” and that proposals from the government for leaving the EU “have not been compliant with the definition of a customs union.”
Ms Long Bailey also said that Labour had raised the prospect of a second referendum to prevent a “damaging” or no-deal Brexit.
Ms May will need to get her withdrawal plans approved in the Commons before the current Brexit date of April 12 – this Friday.
If no extension is agreed then Britain is set to leave without a deal.
Ms May said her Cabinet and Labour will have to “compromise” in the talks.
In a video message filmed at her Chequers country retreat, Ms May said: “There are lots of things on which I disagree with the Labour Party on policy issues.
“But on Brexit I think there are some things we agree on: ending free movement, ensuring we leave with a good deal, protecting jobs, protecting security.
“And so we are talking. Can we find a way through this that ensures that we can get a good deal and a deal agreed through Parliament?
“It’ll mean compromise on both sides but I believe that delivering Brexit is the most important thing for us.”
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