Theresa May to brief Cabinet on Brexit talks with Labour
Theresa May is to brief senior ministers on the state of cross-party Brexit negotiations with Labour after the latest round of talks failed to achieve a breakthrough.
The meeting took place at Westminster amid signs the Prime Minister will face calls to finally abandon the talks when she chairs the weekly meeting of the Cabinet on Tuesday.
Following the talks, Downing Street insisted efforts to find an agreed way forward that would allow Britain’s “orderly” withdrawal from the EU would continue.
“In preparation for an update to Cabinet tomorrow, today’s meeting took stock across the range of issues discussed in talks over the last few weeks,” a spokesman said.
“We continue to seek to agree a way forward in order to secure our orderly withdrawal from the EU.”
Labour also said that the shadow cabinet and the trade unions would be updated on what had been discussed.
However there is growing impatience among Tory MPs, fearful the continuing deadlock will see them suffer a drubbing at the hands of Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party in the European elections on May 23.
Meanwhile Jeremy Corbyn has come under fire from both pro-Remain and pro-Brexit MPs in his party amid complaints that confusion over Labour’s position had cost them votes in the English council elections earlier this month.
At the weekly meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party, the pro-Remain MP Peter Kyle told the Labour leader their message on a second referendum had been too complicated and had left voters perplexed.
“I urge you to simplify our policy so people realise we are speaking with absolute sincerity,” he told Mr Corbyn.
The pro-Brexit MP John Mann called on Mr Corbyn to give Labour MPs a free vote on Brexit issues to reflect the divisions within the party and the country.
“Labour voters are divided in a very big way. If you don’t get this right you cannot be prime minister,” he told him.
Mr Corbyn acknowledged the MPs’ “frustrations” and said he understood the need to simplify their message, telling them: “I get that”.
A Labour source said: “Our message is about bringing the country together.
“That means people who voted Leave and people who voted for Remain.”