Britain took a decisive step away from a damaging no-deal Brexit as members of Parliament and political leaders backed efforts to prevent a disorderly departure from the European Union.
The House of Commons vote shortly before midnight Wednesday to block a no-deal divorce destroyed the dream of some of Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative Party members for a clean break with the bloc as soon as next week. The bill -- which May herself opposed -- won by a single vote and will now move to Parliament’s upper chamber to complete its progress Thursday.
While the controversial bill is debated in the House of Lords, May’s Tories and Jeremy Corbyn’s opposition Labour Party will hold intensive talks to seek a compromise position on the post-Brexit relationship with the EU. The two leaders held initial discussions Wednesday that both described as “constructive,” and agreed to appoint teams to continue the talks.
The cross-party initiative is May’s last throw of the dice to get an agreement through Parliament so that the U.K. can leave the EU without having to hold European Parliamentary elections in May.
The two party leaders met for more than an hour, after which Corbyn said he’d told the premier that Labour wants a customs union with the EU, access to the single market and regulatory alignment on the environment, and on consumer and workers’ rights.
BBC reports said cross-party talks entered its second day.
By Tim Ross, Robert Hutton, Alex Morales (c) 2019, (Bloomberg/BBC) Apr 04, 2019 -
Labour MPs urge Corbyn to go “extra step”
LONDON REUTERS April 4- Twenty-five lawmakers in Britain’s opposition Labour Party have urged their leader, Jeremy Corbyn, to go the “extra step” if there is a chance of agreeing a Brexit deal in talks with Prime Minister Theresa May.
May, whose deal to leave the European Union has been rejected in parliament three times, has turned to Corbyn in a last-ditch bid to get the support of his Labour Party for an agreement she signed with the bloc’s leaders in November.
Corbyn has welcomed the talks, but the invitation poses a threat for his divided Labour Party.
The 25 lawmakers, almost all from areas which voted to leave the EU in a 2016 referendum, said the talks “represent a real opportunity” for Corbyn, to get a deal which would meet Labour’s demands for a Brexit that protected workers’ rights.