It has been reported that talks between the UK government and the Labour Party opposition over Brexit are set to resume ahead of the deadline for leaving the European Union on April 12, with figures in the government hopeful that an agreement can be reached.
Prime Minister Theresa May reached out to Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn last week after her proposed deal with the EU was rejected for a third time and after the House of Commons had failed to unite around a potential alternative. Pro-Brexit politicians in the Conservative Party have spent the last few days criticising the move, while Labour have accused the government of not being willing to compromise in early discussions held last week, but with neither Labour nor Conservative leadership willing to countenance a no-deal Brexit, the pressure to find agreement this week is intense.
For Labour, the key focus is to ensure that the UK remains in a customs union with the EU in order to safeguard trade, but Brexit extremists are opposed to any deal that might leave the UK subject to EU tariff rules, or that could limit the UK’s ability to make deals with other countries, and at the weekend, Leader of the House, Andrea Leadsom appeared to signal that she would not regard a no-deal scenario, in which the UK crashes out of the EU, as a significant problem, at odds with the Prime Minister, the opposition, and Parliament, which has repeatedly ruled out a No-Deal Brexit.
Last month, the EU agreed to postpone the original date of Brexit, which was March 29 and moved it to April 12, on the agreement that the UK would gain approval for the existing withdrawal deal or signal a change of policy and apply for a longer extension. Prime Minister May has already written to the EU countries asking for a delay until June 30, which will be considered at a Brussels summit this week.