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Labour’s Corbyn says Theresa May has not moved enough on Brexit

LONDON (Reuters) – Opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said on Wednesday that Prime Minister Theresa May had not moved far enough in crisis talks aimed at breaking the deadlock over Britain’s exit from the European Union.

The United Kingdom was supposed to leave the EU last Friday, but, nearly three years after Britons narrowly voted for Brexit in a referendum, it is still unclear how, when or even whether it will quit the bloc it joined in 1973.

After her EU withdrawal deal was rejected three times by lawmakers, May invited Corbyn, a veteran socialist, to talks in parliament to try to plot a way out of the crisis.

“There hasn’t been as much change as I expected,” Corbyn, 69, said. “The meeting was useful but inconclusive.”

Asked if May had accepted his preference for a post-Brexit customs union with the EU, he said: “We did have a discussion about all of that.”

Corbyn is under pressure from some in his party not to agree a Brexit deal without ensuring that it can be confirmed or rejected in a new referendum that also offers the option to stay in the EU.

“I said: ‘Look, this is a policy of our party that we would want to pursue the option of a public vote to prevent crashing out or prevent leaving on a bad deal,’” he said. “There was no agreement reached on that. We just put it there as one of the issues.”

A Downing Street spokesman said the meeting, which lasted an hour and 40 minutes, had been “constructive, with both sides showing flexibility and a commitment to bring the current Brexit uncertainty to a close”.

“We have agreed a programme of work to ensure we deliver for the British people,

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