Brexit hangs in the balance as talks falter

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on April 8, 2019 - Duration: 01:25s

Brexit hangs in the balance as talks falter

Cross-party talks between the British government and opposition Labour have failed to produce a breakthrough on Brexit, while the EU considers later this week whether to grant the UK an extension on leaving the bloc to June 30th.

Francis Maguire reports.

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Brexit hangs in the balance as talks falter

No Brexit breakthrough for Theresa May on Monday (April 8).

Talks between the British government and opposition Labour party have so far gone nowhere, according to Labour's Brexit point-man Keir Starmer.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) LABOUR PARTY BREXIT SPOKESMAN, KEIR STARMER, SAYING: "We're waiting to see what the government is putting on the table as a proposal.

All they've done so far is to indicate some things but not to change the political declaration.

So, the ball's in the government's court.

We need to see what they come back with.

And when they do we'll take a collective decision on that." May has turned to Labour in a bid to end the deadlock over her Brexit plan, which has already been rejected three times in parliament.

Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn wants her to move so-called "red lines" and consider support for their idea of staying in a customs union with the EU post-Brexit, something the government has long said it won't support.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH FOREIGN MINISTER, JEREMY HUNT, SAYING: "You can't go into any of those discussions with big red lines because otherwise there's no point in having them." Britain is due to leave the EU on Friday (April 12), but EU leaders meet Wednesday (April 10) to discuss another request from May to extend Brexit to June 30th.

To get that extension the British prime minister must convince EU leaders, who may prefer a longer extension, that she has a viable plan.

She's now due to meet Emmanuel Macron in Paris on Tuesday (April 9) and Angela Merkel in Berlin.

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