The government and opposition Labour Party are set for a crunch meeting on Tuesday that could define the course of Brexit. If the two sides fail to agree a compromise, the chances of another referendum or even an emergency general election will rise.
May’s Uneasy Courtship of Corbyn Puts Brexit Deal on Knife Edge
- Government talks with Labour to resume at 4 p.m.
- Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt says he doesn’t personally favor a customs union long-term, but compromise needed
- Seamus Milne, a key Labour adviser, is said to be fully engaged in the talks
- If negotiations fail, the next step would be a series of votes in Parliament seeking a consensus for an alternative
- Tory activists to meet June 15 to debate petition to replace May
Brexit Talks to Resume at 4 p.m. (12:30 p.m.)
Government talks with the opposition Labour Party are set to resume at 4 p.m., Theresa May’s spokesman, James Slack, told reporters in London. The aim is to secure a Brexit solution that will garner a “stable” majority in Parliament, he said, a comment that indicates the government is looking for Labour to support the Withdrawal Agreement Bill at every stage of its passage through the House of Commons.
Slack also said it’s becoming more likely each day that passes that the U.K. will have to take part in European Parliament elections. He said Cabinet discussed Brexit for an hour on Tuesday morning, and May reiterated that the results of last week’s local elections showed the public wants both major parties to get on with delivering the U.K.’s departure from the EU.
Tories Plan June 15 Debate on Replacing May (9:15 a.m.)
Conservative activists have been invited to an emergency meeting in London June 15 to debate whether the party should choose another leader. Andrew Sharpe, chairman of the Conservative National Convention, set the date in a letter to members, which also set out the petition he received from 65 local Conservative association chairmen calling for Theresa May to resign.
A debate and vote on May’s leadership will be the only item on the agenda at the meeting, according to Sharpe’s letter, which was posted on the ConservativeHome website. While it’s not legally binding, it would—if passed—add to pressure on the prime minister to name her resignation date.
Hunt Hints at Customs Union Compromise (7:30 a.m.)
Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said he doesn’t “personally” favor a customs union with the European Union as a “long-term” outcome, but compromise will be needed on all sides.
Hunt told BBC Radio 4 his view is that the U.K. economy is too big for a customs union to work long-term. The key word here may be long-term: one of the proposals in talks is for a temporary customs union.
Why is May Meeting Brady? (7:20 a.m.)
Education Secretary Damian Hinds downplayed May’s scheduled meeting on Tuesday with Graham Brady, chairman of the so-called 1922 Committee of rank-and-file Conservative members of Parliament. According to media reports, Brady is planning to tell May to set a date for her departure.
“The prime minister has already been clear and straightforward about what she will do; that she will see through this first phase of Brexit,” Hinds told the BBC. “I don’t think you should read too much into the fact the prime minister is meeting the chairman of the 1922 Committee; that’s what happens as a matter of course.”