UK cross-party Brexit talks collapse
A handout photo made available by the UK Parliament shows British Prime Minister Theresa May (L) speaking as Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn (4-R at front bench) listens during the Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons in Westminster, central London, Britain, May 15, 2019. EPA-EFE/JESSICA TAYLOR / UK PARLIAMENT
London, May 17 (efe-epa).- Cross-party Brexit talks between the UK government and the opposition have collapsed on Friday.
Conservative Party Prime Minister Theresa May carried out negotiations with Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn in a bid to find a compromise to push the PM's deal on the UK leaving the European Union through parliament.
Corbyn said in an open letter to May on Friday that the talks had been conducted in good faith but ultimately failed due to an ability to bridge policy gaps.
"I am writing to let you know that I believe the talks between us about finding a compromise agreement on leaving the European Union have no gone as far as they can," the left-leaning leader said.
"The talks have been detailed, constructive and have involved considerable effort for both our teams.
"However, it has become clear that, while there are some areas where compromise has been possible, we have been unable to bright important policy gaps between us," he added.
He said that the Conservative minority government was becoming increasingly weak to the point where any deal resulting from cross-party talks would not be enough to ensure a bill is passed in the House of Commons.
The lower chamber of UK lawmaking has already rejected May's withdrawal bill three times.
Labour has offered an alternative approach to Brexit, which would include keeping the UK in the customs union, something the center-right Tories have rejected.
May's future as PM and party leader has also recently been cast in doubt as senior Conservatives pressure her to put an end date on her tenure.
Boris Johnson, former London mayor and foreign secretary, and leading Brexit campaigner has already announced his leadership bid.
"As you have been setting out your decision to stand down and cabinet ministers are competing to succeed you, the position of the government has become ever more unstable and its authority eroded," Corbyn's letter continued.
The UK was due to leave the EU on Mar. 29 but the date was pushed back to Oct. 31 after the government failed to shore up enough support in the Commons to pass May's deal.
The UK narrowly voted to leave the EU in a 2016 referendum. EFE-EPA