Cross-party Brexit talks have broken down

PUBLISHED: 11:13 17 May 2019 | UPDATED: 11:13 17 May 2019

Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn. Photographs: PA.

Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn. Photographs: PA.

PA Wire/PA Images

The talks between the Conservatives and Labour to agree a Brexit deal have "gone as far as they can go", said Jeremy Corbyn. The Labour leader told Theresa May in a letter that "we have been unable to bridge important policy gaps between us".

Cross-party talks about the Brexit Withdrawal Bill have been ongoing since April with little progress.

Number 10 was insisting as late as Thursday night that the cross-party Brexit talks were still alive.

Labour will continue to oppose May's deal "as we do not believe it safeguards jobs, living standards and manufacturing industry in Britain," he said.

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He also took a swipe at May's tenuous leadership position and how it undermined her ability to make effective deals.

"As you have been setting out your decision to stand down and Cabinet ministers are competing to succeed you, the position of the government has become ever more unstable and its authority eroded," he wrote.

"Not infrequently, proposals by your negotiating team have been publicly contradicted by statements from other members of the Cabinet."

READ: I don't trust Theresa May, says John McDonnell after media reports on Brexit talks

May has been under increasing pressure from the 18-strong 1922 committee of backbenchers to fulfil her promise of standing down.

After further talks with the committee she had agreed to set out the timetable for her departure in early June after a crucial Commons vote on the agreement she thrashed out with the European Union, with defeat likely to hasten her exit from Number 10.
Potential leadership candidates have already begun signalling their intention to stand.

READ: Boris Johnson confirms worst-kept secret in Westminster

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