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May says greater risk of no Brexit the longer it takes to find compromise

LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Saturday that the longer it takes to find a comprise with the opposition Labour Party to secure a parliamentary majority for a Brexit deal, the less likely it is that Britain will leave the European Union.

British Prime Minister Theresa May gives a news conference after a cabinet meeting following yesterday’s alternative Brexit options vote, outside Downing Street, London, Britain April 2, 2019. Jack Taylor/Pool via REUTERS

May has so far failed to secure backing for her negotiated agreement with Brussels as some Conservative lawmakers and Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party, which props up her minority government, have voted it down.

She has since turned to the opposition Labour Party in a bid to secure a majority for an orderly Brexit, although its leader Jeremy Corbyn said on Saturday he was waiting for May to move her Brexit red lines.

“The fact is that on Brexit there are areas where the two main parties agree: we both want to end free movement, we both want to leave with a good deal, and we both want to protect jobs,” May said in comments released by her Downing Street office.

“That is the basis for a compromise that can win a majority in Parliament and winning that majority is the only way to deliver Brexit.”

“The longer this takes, the greater the risk of the UK never leaving at all,” she said. 

May has a plan to enshrine in law a customs arrangement with the EU to win over the Labour Party, and her aides have discussed offering the opposition a place in the British delegation to Wednesday’s EU summit, The Sunday Times newspaper reported.

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