Sunday 7 April 2019 11:47 am

Government ministers ready to compromise with Corbyn through ‘gritted teeth’ over Brexit

Government ministers are ready to compromise with Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn “through gritted teeth” to deliver Brexit, Andrea Leadsom, the leader of the House of Commons, said this morning.

Prime Minister Theresa May began talks with the opposition leader last week to negotiate a deal that both parties could back in order to pass an agreement through parliament.

Read more: Revoke Article 50 if Brexit deal cannot be secured, manufacturers urge May


Leadsom suggested that the customs agreement in May’s deal, which has been defeated in Parliament three times, was not dissimilar from Labour’s insistence on a customs union.

"Specifically provided we are leaving the European Union then it is important that we compromise, that's what this is about and it is through gritted teeth. But nevertheless the most important thing is to actually leave the EU," she told the BBC's Andrew Marr show.

However, shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey said that the government had not indicated that it was prepared to shift its red lines.

The Labour MP said: "Time will tell over the next few days, but certainly at present we haven't seen any real changes to the deal. But I think both sides are committed to working quite rigorously to compromise as much as possible so that we can provide that compromise Brexit deal that I think parliament desperately needs at the moment."

Read more: Hammond 'optimistic' on reaching Brexit agreement with Labour

When asked whether she would vote to revoke Article 50 or allow a no-deal Brexit if the UK reached Friday’s 11pm deadline without an agreement, Leadsom said it would be preferable to let the UK crash out without a deal.

“If we ended up with no-deal we would survive and thrive…it is not nearly as grim as many would advocate and the civil service have done an amazing job to minimise the problems,” she said.

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