Brexit deadlock continues as PM expected to meet Jeremy Corbyn
Following the announcement that the Prime Minister will ask the EU for a further short extension to the UK Brexit date, Mrs May is now planning on meeting with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
This is in the hope that the two of them can come up with a modified version of her proposed deal with the EU, so that she that can secure the backing of MPs.
The PM wants to get an agreement passed by Parliament before 22nd May, so the UK does not have to take part in European elections.
However, Mr Corbyn says he wants a customs union and workers’ rights to be priorities, and this will not fit well with a good number of Tory MPs, with Brexiteer Boris Johnson accusing Mrs May of entrusting the final handling of Brexit to Labour.
Jacob Rees-Mogg, well known as a prominent Brexiteer, described the offer as deeply unsatisfactory and accused Mrs May of planning to collaborate with a known Marxist. Meanwhile, a cross-party group of MPs will attempt to push through legislation to stop a no deal Brexit.
The bill, presented by Labour MP Yvette Cooper, would require the PM to ask for an extension of Article 50 beyond that deadline if it is passed into law.
Giving an industry perspective, Ian Wright CBE, Food & Drink Federation chief executive said: “Livelihoods are at stake, jobs are on the line. Food and drink manufacturers are spending money, time and effort trying to plan under a cloud of perpetual uncertainty.
“A further extension to article 50 must be sufficient to allow for a new plan to emerge. Unless the Prime Minister can secure the speedy support of the leader of the opposition, another short extension would only prolong the misery for businesses and the country.”
British Retail Consortium (BRC) chief executive Helen Dickinson added her view that there would be no let-up in food price rises if Britain leaves the EU without a trade deal: “The bigger threat to food inflation remains the risks of a chaotic no-deal Brexit, which would lead to higher prices and less choice on the shelves,” she said.
Mrs May has insisted that her withdrawal agreement, which was voted down last week, would remain part of the deal. However, if the two leaders do not agree a joint way forward, the PM suggested that there are a number of options available and these would be put to MPs to determine which course to pursue.