Customs union with EU only way to unlock Brexit | The Daily Star
12:16 AM, February 22, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:17 AM, February 22, 2019

Customs union with EU only way to unlock Brexit

Says UK opposition leader as he warns of no-deal exit

British opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn yesterday said Prime Minister Theresa May must change her strategy and seek a close alliance with the European Union after Brexit to avert the dangerous prospect of an abrupt split.

Speaking in Brussels after meeting the EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, the Labour Party leader told reporters: "The danger of a no-deal exit from the EU for Britain is a very present one."

"We put forward what we believe to be a credible process which would be to negotiate a customs union with the EU and alignment to ensure market access."

British lawmakers could be given a vote on a revised Brexit deal as soon as next week, Britain's finance minister Philip Hammond said earlier yesterday.

Diplomats said negotiators were moving towards a separate legal statement, in which the EU would again stress the temporary nature of the "backstop" insurance policy for the Irish border, the sticking point in the talks.

"The problem is that the prime minister is insisting on her deal, which has already been defeated very heavily in the parliament and running down the clock by trying to keep the threat of no-deal on the table," Corbyn said.

He said he would repeat previous attempts to seek parliamentary approval for a course of action which kept alive all options - including a second referendum on leaving the EU.

May and the other 27 EU leaders approved a Brexit withdrawal agreement at a summit on November 25 last year, but the British parliament voted against it overwhelmingly on January 15.

May met with European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker on Wednesday hoping for movement on the contentious backstop, as fears grow Britain could crash out of the bloc without a deal on March 29.

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