Labour warns May she must give ground if she wants a Brexit deal

The Government may have no option but to give ground on key Labour demands on Brexit if it wants to get a deal through Parliament, a senior shadow minister has warned.

Shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey said “pragmatically” ministers might have to move towards Labour’s position on a customs union if cross-party talks aimed at ending the deadlock were to succeed.

Her comments came amid reports that Environment Secretary Michael Gove had warned ministers they may have to offer concessions so Jeremy Corbyn could claim victory in the talks and sell the deal to his MPs.

Mr Gove, one of the leaders of the Leave campaign in the 2016 referendum, said it would be better to accept the “unpalatable” outcome of a deal with Labour than the “disastrous” outcome of Brexit not happening at all, according to The Daily Telegraph.

Brexit
Micheal Gove is said to have warned that a deal with Labour is better than a ‘disastrous’ no Brexit (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Ms Long-Bailey, who is part of the Labour negotiating team, indicated that movement by ministers on the issue of the customs union – which Labour supports but Theresa May has consistently opposed – may be key to a solution.

“I think pragmatically that they potentially may have no option in order to be able to push this deal through,” she told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.

She added that Labour was now waiting to see how much ground the Government was prepared to give before deciding whether it could make concessions of its own.

“We are fleshing out the details to see how far the Government can move towards us and then we will be able to ascertain how far we are able to move towards them,” she said.

“There are certain issues that we think they will be prepared to move on and we might be prepared to support certain positions.

“There are certain areas which we haven’t seen any movement at all.

“We want to take a view on the whole package, the whole deal, to see if there has been any true movement.”

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