Labour's Corbyn puts forward terms for backing UK PM May on Brexit

OpinionIf the Labour Party really cared about workers it would turn its back on Brexit Jack Peat

OpinionIf the Labour Party really cared about workers it would turn its back on Brexit Jack Peat

JEREMY Corbyn today sparked fury from Labour Remainers as he offered to help Theresa May strike a Brexit deal.

"A lot of our manufacturing industries are very frightened, very anxious at the moment that on March 29 there'll be a cliff edge".

Mr Corbyn wrote to her on Wednesday spelling out his party's five demands for supporting a deal. However, without changes to your negotiating red lines, we do not believe simply seeking modifications to the existing backstop terms is a credible or sufficient response either to the scale of your defeat last month in parliament, or the need for a deal with the European Union that can bring the country together and protect jobs.

In the letter made public on Wednesday, Corbyn said the Brexit deal must include a "permanent and comprehensive" UK-wide customs union, a close alignment with the single market, "unambiguous agreements" on future security arrangements, and commitments on United Kingdom participation in European Union (EU) agencies and funding programmes.

It comes as European Council President Donald Tusk told Mrs May that Mr Corbyn's plan "would be a promising way out" of the current Brexit deadlock.

Mr Verhofstadt told a press conference: "We can't have an agreement with uncertainty in the United Kingdom based on majorities of six, seven, eight or nine votes in the House of Commons".

"It's important now that this leads to a position in the United Kingdom that has the broadest possible majority, so that we can conclude these negotiations".

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Prominent pro-EU MP Chuka Umunna said the position was "totally demoralising". Mr Corbyn today set out his five-point plan - including a permanent customs union with the EU - in a letter to the Prime Minister.

But Smith, who stood against Corbyn in 2016, said he was considering his future in the party.

Starmer said the letter "sets out in robust terms that the prime minister must abandon her Brexit red lines".

"We recognise your priority is now to seek legally binding changes to the backstop arrangements contained within the withdrawal agreement, as we discussed when we met".

"We would not have surfaced the question of "a customs union with a say" unless we were sure that was something that could be negotiated".

Mr Starmer also defended Labour's support for a "permanent and comprehensive UK-wide customs union" aligned with the EU's customs rules but with an agreement "that includes a United Kingdom say on future EU trade deals". I think it could be negotiated. "What we are doing is saying we believe that these are the options that are available that would actually secure a majority in the House of Commons".

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