Theresa May has insisted a cross-party compromise is now the only way to deliver Brexit, despite talks between the Conservatives and Labour having so far failed to find a solution. In a statement on Saturday evening, the prime minister said the longer it takes to reach an agreement, the greater the risk of Brexit being
Theresa May has insisted a cross-party compromise is now the only way to deliver Brexit, despite talks between the Conservatives and Labour having so far failed to find a solution.
In a statement on Saturday evening, the prime minister said the longer it takes to reach an agreement, the greater the risk of Brexit being cancelled altogether.
She said: “It would mean letting the Brexit the British people voted for slip through our fingers.
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“I will not stand for that. It is essential we deliver what people voted for and to do that we need to get a deal over the line.”
Ms May said there were areas the two main parties agreed on when it came to Brexit, including to end free movement, to leave with a good deal, and to protect jobs.
“That is the basis for a compromise that can win a majority in Parliament and winning that majority is the only way to deliver Brexit,” she said.
However, her comments came just a day after Labour accused her of failing to offer “compromise or change” following three days of talks between the two parties.
The opposition claimed Ms May was refusing “to come forward” with anything new – which came as a blow to the prime minister, who had hoped to put a joint proposal to parliament next week before asking for a further Brexit delay at Wednesday’s EU summit.
Meanwhile, Ms May sparked anger on her backbenches by opening talks with Jeremy Corbyn in a bid to find a Brexit consensus.
Jeremy Corbyn said the prime minister has yet to move the “red lines” that have blocked a deal for Britain to leave the EU.
“I’m waiting to see the red lines move,” he told the BBC on Saturday. “I hope we can reach a decision in parliament this week which will prevent a crashing out.”
However finance minister Philip Hammond said he was “optimistic” of reaching some form of agreement with Labour – and that the government had no red lines in the talks.
Meanwhile leader of the House of Commons Andrea Leadsom has claimed a second public vote on Britain’s membership of the EU would be the “ultimate betrayal” in tomorrow’s Sunday Telegraph.
The Brexiteer wrote: “It would require lengthy delay, it would reignite the divisive debate, and since parliament has so far failed to follow the first result, there is no reason to believe it would honour a second referendum either.
“The vision we had of Brexit is fading away and and we are running out of time to save it.”
Ms May said she would “seek a short extension” to Article 50 in Brussels next week.
She added: “My intention is to reach an agreement with my fellow EU leaders that will mean if we can agree a deal here at home we can leave the EU in just six weeks.
“We can then get on with building a new relationship with our nearest neighbours that will unlock the full potential of Brexit and deliver the brighter future that the British people voted for.”