Jeremy Corbyn has insisted that Theresa May hasn’t yet moved on her Brexit red lines in talks with the Labour Party. In a broadcast clip this evening, the Labour leader said:
‘Well, the meetings are very long. A great deal of detail is gone into by both parties. We have people who have been on this case for several years so they’re all very accustomed to it all. We’ve gone into it because the government at last acceded to a request I first made last September that we’re prepared to talk and put forward our views, but talks have to mean a movement and so far there’s been no change in those red lines.’
There have been reports that the talks are moving towards an offer of a customs union, which would enrage many Conservative MPs even more. Labour has called for this red line to change, but of course it cannot fully guarantee that a new Tory leader won’t change policy dramatically anyway.
Downing Street said this evening that ‘we have been in touch with the Opposition today and technical talks between officials will take place this evening’.
There seems to be a curious lack of urgency about these talks, which are expected to continue tomorrow, reaching a conclusion. Perhaps it’s because neither side wants to be responsible for a collapse in apparent co-operation. Or perhaps this is all about Theresa May being able to make the case to European leaders over the next two days that she really needs her new Article 50 extension because there is not yet an agreement.