Last Saturday, Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the opposition Labour Party, said that Theresa May, the British Prime Minister, is yet to move the “red lines” that have blocked a deal for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union. His remarks came after PM May launched negotiations with him in a last-ditch attempt to save Brexit.
With the United Kingdom scheduled to leave the bloc on the 12th of April and there is no sign of her minority government being able to pass a deal through parliament on its own, PM May turned to the Labour Party leader in recent days in the hope of settling for a bi-partisan agreement.
A deal with Corbyn could be the last chance of May to deliver Brexit without either a long delay or leaving with no deal at all. However, Corbyn said that the prime minister had yet to show the flexibility that Labour would require to say yes.
In an interview with BBC, Corbyn stated: “I’m waiting to see the red lines move.”
He added: “I hope we can reach a decision in parliament this week which will prevent a crashing out.”
The decision of PM May to seek an agreement with the Labour Leader was a shocking reversal after months of saying that her plan for Brexit was the only possible course. It reflects the weeks of high drama in parliament that saw the deal of PM May rejected by a historic majority but no agreement emerge on an alternative plan.
While both major parties have said that they are committed to carrying out the results of the 2016 referendum vote to leave the bloc, Labour has long demanded a softer break than PM May has been willing to consider.
In particular, the Labour Party seeks a customs union with the European Union after the United Kingdom leaves, which would cross one of the “red lines” that May set out at the beginning of the negotiations by preventing Britain from imposing its own trade tariffs.