The European Union wants to help Theresa May get a Brexit deal through Parliament if she abandons her so-called ‘red lines’ and makes more concessions.
The bloc appears to be moving towards a trade deal with Britain and is offering the Prime Minister a written commitment to consider “frictionless trade”, the Guardian reports, with a proposal expected to be delivered next week.
The declaration is likely to include a so-called ‘evolution clause’ that will insist the EU remains open to change should a British government wish to make further alterations or concessions during the 21-month transition.
The EU hopes it will help Mrs May get a Brexit deal through Parliament – as the likelihood of a clean ‘No Deal’ exit grows – by persuading MPs that the divorce declaration is not the last word on a future relationship.
The Guardian also claims the bloc’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, has given assurances to Labour’s far-left opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn, telling him he can also change his mind if or when he gets into power.
Labour had vowed to vote down any free trade agreement that includes customs checks, but the Prime Minister is likely to need the support of some Labour MPs to get a deal through Parliament.
Mujtaba Rahman, a former Treasury and European Commission official, commented: “The idea is to say that a more ambitious future is possible.
“There is debate about how hard they should be now and whether options should be closed off. This is an acknowledgement that political space could open up for a more ambitious deal later.”
Another EU source added: “The message to Labour is that the UK could move up Barnier’s stairs if the British government changes its position in the transition period.
“Voting in favour of the deal now would not be the last word on it.”
‘EU Has Offered UK Canada+++ Deal Since Beginning’ Says Bloc’s President https://t.co/tGnYZXJxUJ
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Mr Barnier has also pushed the idea of extending the transition period and keeping the United Kingdom tied to the EU for even longer, extending membership more than four years beyond the nation’s vote to Leave.
However, the European Parliaments’ Brexit co-ordinator Guy Verhofstadt has categorically rejected extending the transition, as well as claiming he would “never” accept Britain adopting an immigration system which prioritises skills.