Britain’s main opposition Labour Party has ruled out any immediate chances of reaching a compromise on government’s European Union withdrawal agreement, accusing Prime Minister Theresa May of wasting time by insisting on her red lines.
Labour’s top legal policy chief Shami Chakrabarti said on Sunday that May had not moved “an inch” on her Brexit “red lines” during negotiations with the opposition aimed at securing the parliamentary support for her controversial Brexit deal ahead of a deadline imposed by the EU this week.
“So far, our impression is that Mrs May hasn’t moved an inch on her red lines ... In substance, as yet, there’s been not a jot of movement from the government,” Chakrabarti said.
She added that there was almost no chance the two sides could reach a compromise before EU leaders gather for a summit on Wednesday to decide what course Britain’s withdrawal from the bloc should take amid a political standoff in the British parliament.
“It seems to me that this has been left so late in the day ... it’s hard to imagine that we are going to make real progress now without either a general election or a second referendum on any deal she can get over the line in parliament,” said Chakrabarti.
After failing to go through the House of Commons with her Brexit deal for three times, May decided to sit down with Labour leadership in a bid to win the support needed for her the deal to pass the Commons before a new withdrawal deadline on April 12.
The EU has indicated that Britain should ratify the deal until Friday to leave the bloc in an orderly manner. Otherwise, it should either leave without a deal or seek a long extension.
May is also hoping that she could convince EU leaders in the upcoming summit in Brussels to grant Britain a short extension until the end of June as she struggles to avoid a long Brexit delay which would require London to stage European Parliament elections in May.