Theresa May will meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday, a day before she makes her case for a Brexit extension at a key EU summit in Brussels. She needs to show she has a clear plan to ratify the divorce deal; an official said the government could make a compromise offer to the opposition Labour Party on Monday.
- Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert confirms chancellor’s meeting with May on Tuesday; Macron’s office says May to meet president at 6 p.m. in Paris
- May’s office says prime minister to hold calls with other EU leaders Monday
- Labour’s Brexit spokesman Keir Starmer says party waiting to hear from government on negotiations; May’s office says aim is to restart talks Monday
- Debate resumes in House of Lords on draft law aimed at forcing the government to seek an extension to avoid a no-deal Brexit
Government Could Make Formal Offer to Labour (11:45 a.m.)
The government could make a formal written offer to Labour on Monday that sets out the basis for a compromise, an official familiar with the situation said.
The letter would come from May’s de facto deputy, David Lidington, who has been leading the talks on behalf of the prime minister, according to the official, who asked not to be identified.
It would be different to the proposal last week, which didn’t include changes to the political declaration, the person said. However, the two sides could also opt for more face-to-face talks instead.
May to Speak to Other EU Leaders on Monday (11:30 a.m.)
The prime minister’s spokeswoman, Alison Donnelly, told reporters May will speak to other EU leaders by phone on Monday.
The government also aims to restart negotiations with the opposition Labour Party on Monday, Donnelly said, adding that talks have been positive and both sides have shown a willingness to engage.
May Will Also Meet France’s Macron on Tuesday (11:15 a.m.)
Theresa May will embark on a round of whistle-stop diplomacy on Tuesday, taking in Berlin and Paris ahead of the crunch EU summit in Brussels a day later. French President Emmanuel Macron will meet May at 6 p.m., his office said. That follows May’s meeting at 12 p.m. with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose spokesman told reporters that Germany and France would coordinate on May’s visits.
May to Meet Merkel on Tuesday (10:50 a.m.)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel will host a meeting with Theresa May in Berlin on Tuesday, government spokesman Steffen Seibert said at a regular government press conference, with Brexit on the agenda.
“There are always good reasons in this difficult controversial situation to speak with each other,” Seibert said. “We’re conducting these discussions with the U.K. in the spirit of our respect for the democratic decision that was made during the referendum, and in the spirit that we want to maintain as close a relationship as possible with the U.K. after its departure from the EU.”
Labour Says Ball in Government’s Court (10:30 a.m.)
Keir Starmer, the main opposition Labour Party’s Brexit spokesman, said there are no talks scheduled for today, but that he has “no doubt things will develop.” He’s waiting for a firm proposal from the government to consider.
“The ball is in the government’s court,” he told Sky News on Monday. Both sides have approached the talks “in the spirit of trying to find a way forward,” he said.
May is due at a summit of EU leaders on Wednesday, where she needs to show she has a clear plan to execute the divorce in order to win the short extension she’s pushing for. EU officials have said that the bloc is very unlikely to veto an extension to the Brexit day deadline, but there is disagreement over how long that delay should be.
Wright Calls for Cross-Party Compromise (Earlier)
Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright called for compromise on Brexit, and said it’s incumbent on politicians from all parties to find a way through the impasse.
“It’s very important that we do our best as politicians on all sides of the aisle to respect what the British people decided in 2016,” Wright told BBC Radio on Monday. “We must make sure that we’re all prepared to compromise to fulfill that primary objective.”
Repeatedly asked whether a customs union was the solution, Wright reiterated that he thought leaving the EU on the premier’s deal is the best solution, before adding: “If we can’t, then let’s find another way forward.”