Wednesday 3 April 2019 2:11 pm

Jeremy Corbyn confirms customs union demand as Theresa May opens crunch Brexit talks

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is set to meet Theresa May at 2.30pm today to see if the pair can strike a Brexit deal.

Read more: Tory whip quits over PM's Brexit talks with 'Marxist' Corbyn

The Prime Minister last night invited the Labour leader for talks as she called for “national unity” to break the deadlock on how the UK should leave the EU.

Both party leaders have promised to enter the talks with open minds, although Downing Street has ruled out revoking Article 50 and stopping Brexit.

Corbyn will be joined by shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer, Labour chief whip Nick Brown, and shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey.

The Prime Minister will be accompanied by Conservative chief whip Julian Smith and Brexit secretary Stephen Barclay.

The talks will be held in parliament, not Downing Street.

Ahead of the meeting, a spokesperson for Jeremy Corbyn said the Labour leader would be going into the meeting with the Brexit proposals he set out to May in a letter in February – including a permanent customs union with the EU and “close alignment” with the Single Market.

As those demands relate to the political declaration setting out the UK’s future relationship with the EU, Corbyn would want them written into law to force the government to pursue them as negotiating objectives.

The spokesperson confirmed the party’s position on migration had not changed since the 2017 referendum, when Labour vowed that “freedom of movement will end when we leave the EU.”


If Corbyn and May can reach a deal, that will be put before MPs for a vote – most likely before next Wednesday.

Read more: May tried to reassure UK bosses over changing Brexit strategy

If they cannot, the Prime Minister has pledged to hold more indicative votes in the Commons and be bound by the result.

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