May Told Her Brexit Talks With Labour Should be Abandoned

Hammond AP

Chancellor Philip Hammond has told the Prime Minister that Brexit talks with Labour are being held on a “false premise” and should be abandoned.

Mr Hammond described the talks as “amiable” but said they were unlikely to result in a successful deal being reached.

Ministers are reportedly seeking a return to a series of ‘indicative votes’, motions put forward by members of the House of Commons that can then be debated and voted upon. A previous series of indicative votes were held, however, and failed to result in any deal being agreed.

A “government source” quoted by the Daily Telegraph said, “If we can’t do a deal with Labour we need to throw our weight behind indicative votes”.

The cabinet is also said to reject the idea of even planning for a potential no-deal scenario. Another nameless “government source” quoted by the paper said: “how can we campaign against the Brexit Party if their campaign for no-deal is our contingency plan,” adding “nothing better sums up the ludicrousness of our situation than that.”

The collapse of talks with Labour has been seen by some as inevitable, with many Conservatives dismayed that they took place at all. Former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson described Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn as a “marxist” and said: “it seems utterly incredible that he has now been invited into Downing Street to negotiate a Brexit deal… [and] to get Corbyn onside, the Government is apparently willing to abandon the cardinal principle and central logic of Brexit.”

Meanwhile, the former defence secretary Gavin Williamson described the talks as “naive”. He said, “even if Labour do a deal, break bread with the Prime Minister and announce that both parties have reached an agreement, it can only ever end in tears”.

He added “Jeremy Corbyn will do all he can to divide, disrupt and frustrate the Conservatives in the hope of bringing down the Government.” Concluding, that: “his [Corbyn’s] goal, and he has made no secret of it, is to bring about a general election.”


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