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Brexit talks round two: progress uncertain

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on April 4, 2019 - Duration: 01:48s

Brexit talks round two: progress uncertain

UK Prime Minister Theresa May and opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn hold a second round of talks on Brexit on Thursday, but both are under mounting pressure from their own parties.

Julian Satterthwaite reports.

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Brexit talks round two: progress uncertain

UK prime minister Theresa May and opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn hold a second round of talks on Brexit Thursday (April 4).

Corbyn says the previous day's first round was "useful but inconclusive." (SOUNDBITE) (English) JEREMY CORBYN, LABOUR PARTY LEADER, SAYING: "I welcome the prime minister's offer." (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH PRIME MINISTER THERESA MAY, SAYING: "I think there are actually a number of areas we agree on." The pair have agreed on negotiating teams, and a plan of work, but the talks have sparked anger in both parties.

Two more of May's junior ministers resigned in protest on Wednesday (April 3).

Media reports claim as many as 15 ministers could quit in all.

Meanwhile many in Labour fear it's all a ruse to make them share responsibility for Brexit.

May came to the opposition party after her proposed deal was voted down three times in parliament.

The Labour Party wants to maintain tight trade relationships with Europe in what's called a customs union - a so-called "soft" Brexit.

Corbyn is under pressure from some in the party not to agree any deal without a commitment from May to hold a new referendum on it.

Labour has its own divides too, with many in its ranks representing districts which voted heavily in favor of Brexit.

Meanwhile, other lawmakers are working fast to stop a hard Brexit.

On Wednesday the House of Commons passed a bill forcing May to seek a delay to Britain's exit.

Approved with a majority of just one vote, it's meant to stop a no-deal departure on April 12th - the default outcome if nothing else is agreed.

On Thursday the upper house of parliament will try to debate and pass the bill within a day.

The unprecedented haste just another sign of the feverish atmosphere in Westminster.

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