Labour "disappointed" with Tory Brexit talk progress as EU consider "flexible extension"

Michael Searles
Labour has been in discussion with the Conservative Party as they try to end Brexit stalemate (Source: Getty)

Labour has criticised the government for not being open to change during discussions to end the Brexit stalemate.

The opposition has been engaged with the Conservative Party to discuss alternatives to the current deal after it was heavily defeated in Parliament on three separate occasions.

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But Labour is so far “disappointed” with how those talks have unfolded.

"So far, the government isn't proposing any changes to the deal. In particular, it's not countenancing any changes to the actual wording of the political declaration,” shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer said in a statement.

"Now obviously that's disappointing; compromise requires change.

"We want the talks to continue and we've written in those terms to the Government, but we do need change if we're going to compromise."

So far No10 has insisted it has made “serious proposals” and is prepared to “pursue changes to the political declaration” over the weekend.

Meanwhile, prisons minister Rory Stewart has claimed discussions are “very, very close”.

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It comes after EU Council President Donald Tusk is reported to have told the government the only “reasonable” delay would be a longer extension of a year, after Prime Minister Theresa May asked for an extension until the end of June.

An EU source told Sky News that the bloc would consider a “flexible extension” that would allow a year for a withdrawal agreement to be decided on, although the UK could leave the EU prior to that year’s completion if an arrangement was agreed sooner.