British PM May tells Corbyn: Let’s do a deal on Brexit, Latest World News - The New Paper

British PM May tells Corbyn: Let’s do a deal on Brexit

This article is more than 12 months old

LONDON: British Prime Minister Theresa May on Sunday urged opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to work with her to break the Brexit deadlock.

Mrs May said she understood why hardcore Brexiteers in her centre-right Conservative Party, who want a clean break with the European Union, would wince at the prospect of striking a softer agreement with the veteran socialist.

But she insisted the clobbering both main parties took in last week's English local elections had increased the necessity of finding an EU divorce deal that a majority of MPs could get behind.

"To the leader of the opposition, I say this: let's listen to what the voters said in the elections and put our differences aside for a moment. Let's do a deal," she wrote in The Mail on Sunday newspaper.

Mrs May negotiated a withdrawal agreement with Brussels last year but MPs repeatedly voted it down, with large numbers of her own Conservative backbenchers standing against it.

"Regrettably, I have to accept there is no sign of that position changing," Mrs May wrote.

Britain is set to leave the EU on Oct 31.

"The government has been in talks with the opposition to try to find a unified, cross-party position," she said. "Many of my colleagues find this decision uncomfortable. Frankly, it is not what I wanted, either.

"But we have to find a way to break the deadlock - and I believe the results of the local elections give fresh urgency to this. We will keep negotiating, and keep trying to find a way through. The longer that takes, the greater the risk we will not leave at all."

The Conservatives lost more than a thousand seats in last Thursday's English polls, but left-wing Labour failed to capitalise, also losing seats.

The Sunday Times claimed the government was prepared to give way to Labour on three areas: customs, goods alignment and workers' rights.

More than 100 opposition lawmakers have written to Mrs May and Mr Corbyn to say they would vote against any agreement the pair reach unless it is subject to a referendum. - AFP