'No real change or compromise': Brexit talks break down as May fails to win over Labour

May and Corbyn both agreed to cross-party talks – but Labour claim negotiations are breaking down (PA)

Talks between Theresa May and the Labour party to try and break the Brexit deadlock have faltered already.

The opposition said the Government has failed to offer any compromises over Brexit following three days of talks.

It comes as it emerged the UK may have to accept a longer one year extension to Article 50, under a proposal put forward by European Commission President Donald Tusk.

The two sides are talking in an attempt to break the Brexit deadlock (PA)

Labour say the Mrs May’s team refused to reopen the ‘political declaration’ – the framework needed for a future trade deal that must accompany the withdrawal agreement.

Labour claim they were only being offered a ‘memorandum’ that would be placed alongside the withdrawal agreement.

Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer said Mrs May did not offer any concrete changes to the existing withdrawal agreement.

Sir Starmer said the Government was ‘not countenancing any changes’ to the wording of the political declaration, which sets out the framework for the future UK-EU relationship.

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In a sign that talks with ministers have so far failed to produce a breakthrough, he said: ‘Well, we’ve had two rounds of talks and today we’ve had an exchange of correspondence with the Government.

‘So far, the Government isn’t proposing any changes to the deal. In particular it’s not countenancing any changes to the actual wording of the political declaration.

‘Now obviously that’s disappointing; compromise requires change. We want the talks to continue and we’ve written in those terms to the Government, but we do need change if we’re going to compromise.’


A Labour source has said the party would not agree to a deal deal without Mrs May committing to a customs union.

However, Prisons Minister Rory Stewart told BBC Radio 4 how he believed there was ‘quite a lot of life left’ in the cross-party negotiations.

He said: ‘I know that there are going to be tensions.

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‘In truth, the positions of the two parties are very, very close and where there’s good will it should be possible to get this done and get it done relatively quickly.’