JEREMY CORBYN has accused Theresa May of trying to ‘run down the clock’ after the pair finally met for face-to-face talks on how to break the Brexit deadlock.
The prime minister hosted the Labour leader at her office at the House of Commons yesterday, hours after they clashed at Prime Minister’s Questions.
Mr Corbyn told reporters he had held ‘serious’ talks with Mrs May as he ‘set out the Labour case for a comprehensive customs union with the European Union in order to protect jobs in this country’.
But he added: ‘The whole process looks like it’s running down the clock by saying: “Well, it’s either the problems and the difficulties of no- deal or support a deal that’s already been rejected by the House”.’
Mr Corbyn was joined by his communications director Seumas Milne, chief of staff Karie Murphy and Labour’s chief whip Nick Brown for the 45-minute meeting. It ended with him agreeing to meet Mrs May again.
The Labour leader had previously refused the prime minister’s invitations to cross-party talks, but changed his mind on Tuesday night after her pledge to revisit her Brexit plan was backed by a 16-strong majority of MPs.
Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament’s Brexit co-ordinator, said he hoped Mrs May and Mr Corbyn’s meeting amounted to more than ‘eating biscuits and drinking tea’ and insisted a cross-party approach was needed to secure a stable UK position.
He said: ‘It could be the solution for this problem if they start working together on a cross-party approach so that we know what the position of the UK is in the future, because we don’t know it.’
Earlier at PMQs, Mr Corbyn demanded to know which of Mrs May’s red lines she was prepared to compromise on. he said: ‘It really is time that the prime minister acknowledged she has got to move on from the red lines she put down in the first place.’
But she accused him of having opposed ‘every move by this government to get a deal’, adding: ‘He is the one risking no-deal.’