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As it happenedended1558105671

Brexit news: Labour-Tory talks collapse with Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn blaming each other

Ashley Cowburn
Political Correspondent
,Samuel Osborne
Friday 17 May 2019 13:20 BST
Keir Starmer confirms Labour will vote against Brexit legislation without cross-party deal

Talks between Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May aimed at breaking the Brexit deadlock have collapsed without an agreement.

Conservative whips had reportedly given up hope of reaching an agreement with Labour, while Mr Corbyn and the shadow cabinet had concerns about the durability of any deal due to Ms May's weak position.

But speaking on Friday, the prime minister blamed Labour division s over whether to demand a Final Say referendum for the failure of the talks.

As Ms May finally hit the campaign trail for the European elections - with just six days to go - she said: "In particular, we haven’t been able to overcome the fact that there isn’t a common position in Labour about whether they want to deliver Brexit, or hold a second referendum which could reverse it.”

But a Labour source hit back, pointing out Brexiteer cabinet ministers had also voiced “strident” opposition to a customs union, saying: “Ultimately, this is a prime minister that can’t govern and can’t deliver.”

Earlier, Mr Corbyn said: "We have been unable to bridge important policy gaps between us.”

It comes after the ex-foreign secretary Boris Johnson declared his intention to replace Theresa May after she bowed to pressure to quit in the summer months and make way for a new Tory leader.

This liveblog has now closed - but you can follow Friday's events below


Speaking about the cross-party talks on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Hilary Benn, the Labour MP and chairman of the Brexit select committee, said there was little point in continuing the cross-party talks with the Tories if they were going nowhere.

"It doesn't come as a great surprise to me because over the six weeks they've been going it doesn't appear that much progress has been made," he said. "If there's not going to be any progress then there wouldn't be much point in carrying on."

Ashley Cowburn17 May 2019 08:03

The race to succeed Theresa May is under way in earnest after the prime minister bowed to pressure to quit before the summer and Brexit figurehead Boris Johnson declared his intention to replace her, writes political editor Andrew Woodcock.

Ms May fended off demands for the immediate announcement of a date for her departure at a meeting of Tory grandees in Westminster.

But 1922 Committee chair Sir Graham Brady left no doubt she had only weeks left in office, announcing that they will meet again in the first week of June to agree on a timetable for the election of her successor.

Ashley Cowburn17 May 2019 08:09

Arron Banks bankrolled a lavish lifestyle for Nigel Farage, including a £4.4m rented London home, a luxury car, a bodyguard, a private office and trips to the United States, an investigation has found.

Channel 4 News uncovered documents revealing the multimillionaire spent around £450,000 funding his former Ukip ally in the year following the 2016 Brexit referendum, it reports.

Mr Banks dismissed the revelations as an attempt “to smear myself and Nigel” – while Mr Farage insisted there had been no funding of his new Brexit Party.

Ashley Cowburn17 May 2019 08:28

Talks between Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May aimed at breaking the Brexit deadlock are reportedly on the verge of ending without an agreement. 

According to BBC Newsnight, Conservative whips had given up hope of reaching an agreement with Labour, while Mr Corbyn and the shadow cabinet had concerns about the durability of any deal due to Ms May's weak position.

As announced on Tuesday, Ms May will now plough ahead with a critical vote on the Withdrawal Agreement Bill in the first week of June.

It is highly likely she will lose the vote - given the lack of movement from hardline Conservative Brexiteers and the Democratic Unionist Party - and many believe it will be the last major move of her beleaguered premiership. 

Ashley Cowburn17 May 2019 08:29

Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon has warned support for an independent Scotland would increase if Boris Johnson became prime minister.

Asked what impact the former foreign secretary would have on the debate in Scotland if he became the next Tory leader, she told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "It would lead to many more people thinking that the best future for Scotland is be to be independent."

Ms Sturgeon described Mr Johnson as a "complete and utter charlatan" and said the prospect of him becoming PM was one that would "horrify many people across Scotland - even the Scottish Tories here are terrified at the prospect".

She also said she can "feel a degree of sympathy" for Theresa May on a "personal level", but added: "That said, I don't think she has played the hand she was given particularly well."

Ashley Cowburn17 May 2019 08:33

Former cabinet minister and Tory MP Nicky Morgan tells Radio 4's Today programme said it would be a "shame" if the cross-party talks collapsed.

She also rules out running for the leadership of the party, and says the Tories joining an alliance with Nigel Farage's Brexit Party would be the "death knell" for her party.

Ashley Cowburn17 May 2019 08:46

Politics Explained: The prime minister’s enemies will come in many different guises when the showdown comes in early June, writes deputy political editor Rob Merrick

Ashley Cowburn17 May 2019 09:06

According to a fresh poll by YouGov for the Times - ahead of the European elections next week - the Liberal Democrats have leapfrogged Labour, replacing Jeremy Corbyn's party in second place. 

The poll places the Brexit Party under Nigel Farage in first place with a considerable lead on 35 per cent, with Vince Cable's Liberal Democrats on 16 per cent, and Labour in third place with 15 per cent. 

It also shows the Conservatives in single figures with just nine per cent of the vote share - a finding that will be greeted with considerable concern in Tory headquarters. 

This is from the Times' Sam Coates

Ashley Cowburn17 May 2019 09:12

Theresa May has failed to name a date for her departure from Downing Street but vowed to "agree a timetable for the election of a new leader" within weeks.

Senior figures on the 1922 Committee held talks with the prime minister for some 90 minutes in her Commons office, amid pressure on Ms May to declare when she will stand down.

Chairman Sir Graham Brady said he would meet Ms May again in June to "agree a timetable for the election of a new leader" after a make-or-break vote on her key Brexit legislation.

Ashley Cowburn17 May 2019 09:36
Ashley Cowburn17 May 2019 10:04

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