Theresa May says Brexit is ‘slipping away’ in plea for Labour to keep talking

Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer said the government was unwilling to change the text of the Political Declaration. Picture: Getty
Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer said the government was unwilling to change the text of the Political Declaration. Picture: Getty
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Theresa May has warned that Brexit could “slip through our fingers” unless the Labour Party comes back to the negotiating table and agrees a compromise deal to take the UK out of the EU.

Ahead of a week in which she will go to Brussels seeking to secure a further delay to the UK’s departure, the Prime Minister said: “The longer this takes, the greater the risk of the UK never leaving at all.”

Talks between the government and Labour broke down on Friday, with the opposition saying it was “disappointed” with the concessions ministers were willing to offer.

Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer said the government was unwilling to change the text of the Political Declaration – the blueprint for future trade with the EU. However, Downing Street insisted it was ready to make alterations.

“Because Parliament has made clear it will stop the UK leaving without a deal, we now have a stark choice: leave the European Union with a deal or do not leave at all,” May said last night.

“The referendum was not fought along party lines,” she added. “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.

“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.”