LONDON (Reuters) – Twenty-five lawmakers in Britain’s opposition Labour Party have urged their leader, Jeremy Corbyn, to go the “extra step” if there is a chance of agreeing a Brexit deal in talks with Prime Minister Theresa May.
A combination picture shows a copy of a letter from opposition Labour Party MPs to Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, urging him to go the “extra step” if there is a chance of agreeing a Brexit deal in talks with Prime Minister Theresa May, is seen in London, Britain April 4, 2019. REUTERS/Staff
May, whose deal to leave the European Union has been rejected in parliament three times, has turned to Corbyn in a last-ditch bid to get the support of his Labour Party for an agreement she signed with the bloc’s leaders in November.
Corbyn has welcomed the talks, but the invitation poses a threat for his divided Labour Party – some members and lawmakers are demanding a second referendum on any deal while others fear being blamed for helping pass May’s much-criticised agreement.
The 25 lawmakers, almost all from areas which voted to leave the EU in a 2016 referendum, said the talks “represent a real opportunity” for Corbyn, a way to get a deal which would meet Labour’s demands for a Brexit that protected workers’ rights.
They reminded him in the letter that he had told May Labour would support a “sensible deal” that included “a customs union and no hard border in Ireland”, protected jobs and workers, environmental and consumer standards.
“We believe you are close to achieving that in the coming days,” said the letter whose signatories include Labour’s schools spokesman Mike Kane and three lawmakers who last week voted in favour of May’s deal: Rosie Cooper,