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

Press Trust of India  |  London 

Britain's Opposition Party ended the crucial cross-party talks with on Friday without striking a deal, saying negotiations have "gone as far as they can".

wrote to May to declare an end to the process, blaming the "weakness and instability" of her as a leadership contest gets underway within the ruling

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

"I have written to to say that talks on finding a compromise agreement for leaving the 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 had been due to take place on March 29 - but after 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 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 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 Party has been in favour of a form of a common customs arrangement with the (EU) that keeps the UK aligned with its European neighbours on trade tariffs post-

Some Labour 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 is equally clear about the party's opposition to Agreement, which is set for a fourth vote in the week beginning June 3.

"I should reiterate that, without significant changes, we will continue to oppose the government's deal as we do not believe it safeguards jobs, living standards and manufacturing industry in Britain," Corbyn said.

The compromise talks were convened around six weeks ago, when May lost the third vote in Parliament on Agreement rejected repeatedly by over the controversial Irish backstop clause.

The latest Labour stance means May's deal looks even more unlikely to secure the parliamentary arithmetic required for the Withdrawal Agreement to be enforced in time for the new October 31 deadline.

On Thursday, after a crucial meeting with the powerful 1922 backbench MPs, it was announced that May would set out a clear timetable for her resignation as Tory and make way for a new by next month.

minister and hard Brexiteer is seen as a frontrunner in the race, with a number of other Cabinet ministers set to throw their hat in the ring.

Meanwhile, May is likely to offer a set of binding indicative votes in the Commons as she had indicated when she announced the cross-party talks.

These votes are likely to take place within days as the is set for a break from next Thursday before reconvening in early June.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, May 17 2019. 17:26 IST
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