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May turns to opposition for help with Brexit

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on April 3, 2019 - Duration: 02:12s

May turns to opposition for help with Brexit

Prime Minister Theresa May said on Tuesday she would seek another Brexit delay to agree an EU divorce deal with the opposition Labour leader, a last-ditch gambit to break an impasse over Britain's departure that enraged many in her party.

Michelle Hennessy reports.

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May turns to opposition for help with Brexit

In another last minute effort to break the Brexit deadlock, Prime Minister Theresa May is now trying to form an unlikely partnership with her parliamentary rivals, the opposition Labour party.

It's a significant step for how exactly Brexit could shape up.

Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn says he'd be happy to meet with May - but - his party wants to keep a customs union with the EU, and access to the bloc's single market.

That could keep the UK in a much closer relationship with the EU than many people in May's Conservative party would want.

The prime minister announced the move after chairing seven hours of meetings with her cabinet.

And said she's seeking yet another delay to Brexit - beyond the current April 12 deadline.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH PRIME MINISTER, THERESA MAY, SAYING: "I know there are some who are so fed up with delay and endless arguments that they would like to leave with no deal next week.

[WHITE FLASH] we will need a further extension of Article 50, one that is as short as possible and which ends when we pass a deal." Her announcement threatens to rip her Conservative party apart.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) FORMER BRITISH FOREIGN MINISTER, BORIS JOHNSON, SAYING: "Brexit is becoming soft to the point of disintegration." Prominent Brexiteer Boris Johnson said a much softer form of Brexit is now a likely outcome.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) FORMER BRITISH FOREIGN MINISTER, BORIS JOHNSON, SAYING: "This really doesn't qualify because you don't take back control of your laws and you can't do free trade deals if you remain in the customs union [white flash] "You cannot expect the fifth-biggest economy in the world to come out of the EU and remain run by the EU." May says any plan agreed with the opposition would have to include the current - unpopular - Withdrawal Agreement, which was negotiated with the EU last year.

If May and Corbyn fail to find a way out of the Brexit maze, May says the government would come up with a series of options for parliament to vote on.

While Corbyn warned he reserved the right to try and bring the government down, threatening a vote of no-confidence if May can't get a majority through.

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