Brexit deal could be done in ‘next few days’, says Conservative leader

06 May, 2019, 04:07 | Author: Emmett Rice
  • Local elections

The Sunday Telegraph carries comments from Nigel Farage, who warned the Prime Minister she would be entering a coalition "against the people" if she agrees to a customs deal with Labour.

"As such, she is not empowered to make any deal with the Labour Party which itself suffered a very similar result".

May's Conservatives lost more than a thousand seats on English local councils that were up for re-election, and Labour, which would typically aim to gain hundreds of seats in a mid-term vote, instead lost 81.

But she insisted the clobbering both main parties took in last week's English local elections had increased the necessity of finding an European Union divorce deal that a majority of MPs could get behind, even if many of her own backbenchers were not among them.

But the prospect of the government compromising and accepting Labour's demand for close economic ties with the European Union has infuriated pro-Brexit Conservatives, who are demanding May's resignation.

According to the latest YouGov poll, the Conservatives are in a distant third place on 13 per cent behind the Brexit Party on 30 per cent and Labour on 21 per cent.

"The longer that takes, the greater the risk we will not leave at all".

"We've got to be a broad party".

Labour may also judge that the Conservatives have more to lose electorally if the Brexit stalemate continues until the European Parliament elections due on May 23.

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Health minister Matt Hancock urged pragmatism in a BBC radio interview earlier on Saturday.

"I think if we can dig into the Labour vote, we can surprise even ourselves", he added.

Foreign minister Jeremy Hunt also saw a "glimmer of hope" that there might be a deal with Labour soon.

"I think the basic rate, taking a penny off that, would be talking to the people who need to know we are on their side", he said.

However, both May and Corbyn are facing a backlash from their backbenches if they sign up to a deal, with many Labour MPs prepared to reject any deal without a second referendum and many Tory MPs vehemently opposed to a customs union.

Talks between Labour and the Conservatives are to resume on Tuesday.

Mr Raab has already gained the support of fellow former Brexit secretary David Davis, who said he would back the 45-year-old to become the next Conservative leader. Whilst we're doing that and we think we're gaining an understanding of our different positions and where we can reach some compromise, in the wings, if you like, are all the leadership candidates virtually threatening to tear up whatever deal that we do.

Moreover, a temporary customs union is likely to raise EU concerns that it could lead to customs checks on the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland if it later breaks down, something EU member Ireland objects to strongly.

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