Crucial Brexit talks between May and Labour leader Corbyn end without deal

Crucial Brexit talks between May and Labour leader Corbyn end without deal

London: Britain's Opposition Labour Party ended the crucial cross-party Brexit talks with Prime Minister Theresa May on Friday without striking a deal, saying negotiations have "gone as far as they can".

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn wrote to May to declare an end to the negotiation process, blaming the "weakness and instability" of her government as a leadership contest gets underway within the ruling Conservative Party.

The development came a day after Prime Minister May was forced to set a June timeline for her exit from Downing Street.

"I have written to Theresa May to say that talks on finding a compromise agreement for leaving the European Union have gone as far as they can," Corbyn tweeted.

"The government's growing weakness and instability means there cannot be confidence in its ability to deliver," he said.

Britain's exit from the 28-member European Union had been due to take place on March 29 - but after MPs voted down the deal May had negotiated with the bloc three times, the EU gave the UK an extension until October 31.

"The increasing weakness and instability of your government means there cannot be confidence in securing whatever might be agreed between us," Corbyn wrote.

"As you have been setting out your decision to stand down and Cabinet ministers are competing to succeed you, the position of the government has become ever more unstable and its authority eroded," he noted.

Stressing that his party had conducted the exercise in "good faith" and that some constructive effort had gone into finding a possible consensus, there has been growing concern within the Opposition ranks about the government's ability to deliver on any compromise agreement.

The Labour Party has been in favour of a form of a common customs arrangement with the European Union (EU) that keeps the UK aligned with its European neighbours on trade tariffs post-Brexit.

Some Labour MPs have also insisted they would not back a deal with the government unless it includes another referendum.

Both scenarios have caused anger among Brexit-backing Conservatives, who claim a customs union would stop the UK negotiating its own trade deals around the world and who believe another public vote is undemocratic.

In his letter to the British Prime Minister, Corbyn noted: "Not infrequently, proposals by your negotiating team have been publicly contradicted by statements from other members of the Cabinet.

"In recent days we have heard senior Cabinet ministers reject any form of customs union, regardless of proposals made by government negotiators."

The Labour leader is equally clear about the party's opposition to May's unchanged

Withdrawal Agreement, which is set for a fourth House of Commons vote in the week beginning June 3.



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