Thursday 17 January 2019

Brexiteers and Remainers pour into No 10 for talks

Theresa May is fighting to find a cross-party Brexit plan today despite being snubbed by Jeremy Corbyn and Nicola Sturgeon - as it emerged MPs will not vote on her Plan B for nearly two weeks. 

Political rivals have been congregating in Downing Street after the Prime Minister held out an olive branch following a failed Labour bid to oust her. 

Tory Eurosceptics including David Davis and Green MP Caroline Lucas are among the key players spotted out and about in Whitehall this morning as efforts to forge consensus are ramped up.

Mrs May's effective deputy David Lidington is co-ordinating the drive to hammer out a solution, while Environment Secretary and Leave campaign veteran Michael Gove is also expected to play a key role. 

But Mr Corbyn and Mrs Sturgeon have caused fury by flatly rejecting the overture, insisting they will not talk until the government rules out leaving the EU without a deal. 

Mrs May has said the option must stay on the table, and has also raised questions about how much scope there is for compromise by repeating her view that the UK must leave on schedule in March and cannot be in a customs union. 

It emerged today that a Commons debate and vote on the government's 'Plan B' for Brexit will not take place until January 29 - likely to spark more claims that Mrs May is trying to run down the clock. 

Meanwhile, Mr Corbyn used a speech in Hastings to dismiss the cross-party overtures as a 'stunt' and brand Mrs May 'incompetent' - although he also managed to get the day of the Brexit deal vote wrong and at one point left a long pause mid-sentence as he struggled to turn a page.

Allies of the Labour leader boasted that his tactics mean Mrs May will have to split the Tory party if she wants to get a Brexit package through the Commons.

Tory and Opposition MPs pointed out that Mr Corbyn was willing to 'sit down with terrorists' without any preconditions - insisting his only aim was to seize power whatever the consequences for the country. 

Tony Blair also waded in this morning by saying 'of course' Mr Corbyn should accept the premier's invitation at a 'moment of crisis'. 

Despite the SNP's Westminster leader Ian Blackford meeting the premier last night, Mrs Sturgeon today pulled her party out of the talks, claiming she would not be 'complicit in more time wasting'. '


No comments:

Post a Comment