Talks on Brexit deal have failed, Labour tells May

Brexit talks between British Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative government and the opposition Labour party have "gone as far as they can," Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said on Friday.

Brexit talks between British Prime Minister Theresa May‘s Conservative government and the opposition Labour party have “gone as far as they can,” Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said on Friday.

Britain’s two main political parties held six weeks of talks, but were unable to find a way forward in implementing Britain’s decision in a 2016 referendum to leave the European Union.

“While there are some areas where compromise has been possible, we have been unable to bridge important policy gaps between us,” Corbyn said in an open letter to May.

“Even more crucially, the increasing weakness and instability of your government means there cannot be confidence in securing whatever might be agreed between us,” he said.

A Downing Street spokesperson confirmed that May‘s government is “not going to be able to reach a complete agreement” with Labour, describing the talks as “challenging.”

On Thursday, May agreed to set a timetable to step down as Conservative leader once lawmakers have voted early next month on her Brexit agreement with Brussels, after some lawmakers in the party had urged her to announce her resignation date this week.

Corbyn said his party will “carefully consider any proposals the government wishes to bring forward to break the Brexit deadlock.”

“However, 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,” he wrote.

May opened formal talks with Labour after lawmakers had voted against her Brexit deal, negotiated with Brussels, three times.

Both parties are divided over Brexit and many of lawmakers on both sides had opposed the talks.

But May said on Tuesday that she planned to continue to seek a deal based on a post-Brexit customs union with the EU.

Fourteen influential eurosceptic Conservative lawmakers warned her on Tuesday not to agree a customs union deal with Labour, saying it would be “both bad policy and bad politics.”

“Many of us did question the judgement of the cabinet when they approved those talks,” Conservative lawmaker Priti Patel tweeted on Friday in reply to a post by a Brexit campaigner who said the talks had been “a complete waste of time from the outset.”

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