UK PM to Meet With Opposition Leader on Brexit

British flag being cut by scissors from the European union flag
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UK Prime Minister Theresa May and opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn are meeting Wednesday to attempt to develop a new Brexit plan. 

The New York Times reports that Corbyn’s Labour Party has called for six tests on a potential Brexit deal; among them, delivering the “exact same benefits” as the UK currently enjoys as a member of the European Union’s (EU) Single Market and Customs Union. Several of May’s Conservative supporters have expressed skepticism on a potential Brexit deal with their political foe. 

In fact, the talks have prompted high-ranking defections from the Conservative party. Chris Heaton-Harris, the Under-Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union since last year, has resigned from May’s government, becoming the second minister to do so, according to CNN International. A number of members of the Conservative party are also reportedly cutting up their membership cards in protest. 

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The BBC has released an analysis of the likely sticking points in the May – Corbyn negotiations. May has repeatedly ruled out keeping the UK in a customs union with the EU, as well as in the bloc’s single market, which would require the UK to follow the same regulations and standards as EU members in order to maintain free trade. Additionally, May has not promised to adopt new workers’ rights or protections when the EU does, a policy that the Labour party supports. 

Prior to the Corbyn talks, May had been unable to get Parliamentary approval on a deal regarding the UK’s exit from the EU. UK lawmakers had rejected the deal May had negotiated with EU officials twice, and they have also voted against a “no-deal” Brexit. Parliament has voted in favor of requesting an extension to the Brexit deadline, which is currently set for April 12. May has asked that date to be pushed back to June 30. 

Regardless of the outcome of the Brexit negotiations, the UK, EU and United States have all signed agreements to continue flights. 

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