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May: Greater risk of no Brexit the longer it takes to find compromise

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LONDON British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Saturday that the longer it takes to find a compromise with the opposition Labour Party to secure a parliamentary majority for a Brexit deal, the less likely it is that Britain will leave the European Union.

Mrs May has so far failed to secure backing for her negotiated agreement with Brussels as some Conservative lawmakers and Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party, which props up her minority government, have voted it down.

She has since turned to the opposition Labour Party in a bid to get a majority for an orderly Brexit, though its leader Jeremy Corbyn said on Saturday he was waiting for Mrs May to move her Brexit red lines.

"The fact is that on Brexit there are areas where the two main parties agree: We both want to end free movement, we both want to leave with a good deal, and we both want to protect jobs," Mrs May said in comments released by her Downing Street office.

"That is the basis for a compromise that can win a majority in Parliament and winning that majority is the only way to deliver Brexit.

"The longer this takes, the greater the risk of the UK never leaving at all."

Mrs May has a plan to enshrine in law a customs arrangement with the EU to win over the Labour Party, and her aides have discussed offering the opposition a place in the British delegation to Wednesday's EU summit, The Sunday Times newspaper reported.

She has asked EU leaders to postpone Britain's exit until June 30. The EU, which gave her a two-week extension last time, has insisted she must first show a viable plan to get agreement on her thrice-rejected divorce deal in the British Parliament.

Mrs May reiterated on Saturday her hope that lawmakers would approve a deal to allow Britain to leave the bloc as quickly as possible.

"My intention is to reach an agreement with my fellow EU leaders that will mean if we can agree a deal here at home we can leave the EU in six weeks," she said. - REUTERS