Lidington says Brexit talks with Labour to continue, will not last months

Clay Curtis
April 15, 2019

The message from Richard Corbett, who leads Labour's 20 members of the European Parliament, came amid growing fears at the top of the party that it could lose a generation of young, pro-EU voters if it does not guarantee another public vote.

If we offer a confirmatory ballot we could do very well'.

The Labour MEP's words have been backed by the party's foreign secretary Margaret Beckett, who said a "lack of clarity" could cost Labour not only the European Union election but the next general election too.

Duncan Smith has now requested that she stands down in May and described talks with Labour as a "recipe for disaster".

Britain's ruling Conservative Party can not let itself be defined exclusively by Brexit, Prime Minister Theresa May's de facto deputy said on Sunday, as polling showed failure to leave the European Union on schedule has badly damaged its support.

Speaking on the BBC's The Andrew Marr Show, David Lidington, said a programme of meetings has been agreed for next week between ministers and shadow ministers to discuss issues such as environmental standards, workers rights and the future relationship between the United Kingdom and the EU.

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He warned the talks could not be allowed to drag out for months, but showed little indication the government may drop its requirement that future EU ties cannot involve a customs union.

Prime Minister Theresa May's effective deputy, David Lidington, said they wanted to be able to "take stock" of any progress when parliament returns from its Easter break on April 23.

Mr Lidington also said the Government remains opposed to Labour's calls for a second referendum on any deal agreed on, saying people had already voted in the 2016 referendum and expected to see the results carried out.

The Sunday Times runs with its so-called "Labour files" for a second week running, and claims Mr Corbyn has privately admitted that evidence of anti-Semitism within the party has been "mislaid, ignored or not used".

Although the Labour leader has avoided addressing the question so far, it could look like Mr Corbyn will avoid backing the Brexit option of giving the public a second vote.

This has prompted speculation that there might be no commitment to one in Labour's European election manifesto.

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