May offers Corbyn further Brexit talks in attempt to secure deal

Meeting Taoiseach Leo Varadkar greets British Prime Minister Theresa May at Farmleigh House last night

Meeting Taoiseach Leo Varadkar greets British Prime Minister Theresa May at Farmleigh House last night

But Mr Johnson insisted that a separate codicil setting out amendments to the backstop plan would not be "good enough", indicating that he is holding out for changes to the text of the agreement itself.

Speaking after a dinner with Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay on Monday night, European Union negotiator Michel Barnier said the talks had been "constructive", but added it was "clear from our side we're not going to reopen the withdrawal agreement, but we will continue our discussions in the coming days".

LEADING Brexiteers have condemned Jeremy Corbyn's proposals for a permanent customs union as a "dangerous delusion" that could leave Britain a colony of the EU.

Speaking to BBC radio Monday morning, Johnson said: "The argument is now about how to get out of the backstop".

'So he wants a customs union and he is unclear as to whether that means he also wants an independent trade policy.

The trade between the two countries is reckoned to be worth more than £32bn per year, making this the biggest agreement signed since the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union.

The government is stepping up efforts to persuade the European Union to accept changes to the Irish border backstop in the Withdrawal Agreement.

She insisted her deal already met numerous conditions he had set.

The EU has ruled out any changes to the divorce deal agreed in November that is yet to be ratified by parliament, but has hinted it could change the non-binding political declaration on the UK's future relationship with the bloc.

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DIT says that with the agreement the British auto industry, which has consistently warned against a no-deal Brexit, could avoid up to £8m a year in tariff charges on their exports that would apply if the agreement had not been reached.

Mrs Leadsom said: 'I think she's making quite clear that what Corbyn is demanding is actually not as good as what the Prime Minister's deal is offering.

She added: "The fundamental negotiating challenge here is the EU's position that completely frictionless trade is only possible if the United Kingdom stays in the single market".

Her spokesman said she is committed to replacing the backstop with "alternative arrangements".

This is despite Mr Corbyn repeatedly saying there should be a general election if Mrs May can not get a deal through Parliament.

Labour wants to force the government to bring back a "meaningful vote" on Theresa May's Brexit deal by the end of this month.

She said it was possible to pass bills "quite quickly" with "goodwill" from the Commons and Lords, but added: "It's just not possible to say how quickly it could be done, but obviously it depends on the way in which there is adequate debate on the meaningful vote and that's what the Prime Minister is determined to do".

The promise is a bid to avert a showdown on Thursday, when parliament is set to vote on the next moves in the Brexit process.

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