Labour’s soft Brexit deal could be agreed ‘in weeks’ John McDonnell claims

Labour’s plan for a soft Brexit could be agreed in a matter of weeks with Brussels, shadow chancellor John McDonnell claimed today. 

Mr McDonnell said the EU has already ‘looked positively’ on the proposals which are based around a new customs union between Britain and Brussels. 

Labour wants to negotiate a British ‘say’ on trade deals signed by the bloc in future – but admit it would rule out UK-specific deals sought by Brexiteers. 

The proposals break Theresa May‘s red lines but were seized upon by Brussels after her deal was crushed by MPs in January. 

Labour's plan for a soft Brexit could be agreed in a matter of weeks with Brussels, shadow chancellor John McDonnell (pictured today on Marr) claimed today

Labour's plan for a soft Brexit could be agreed in a matter of weeks with Brussels, shadow chancellor John McDonnell (pictured today on Marr) claimed today

Labour’s plan for a soft Brexit could be agreed in a matter of weeks with Brussels, shadow chancellor John McDonnell (pictured today on Marr) claimed today

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn (pictured in London today) wants to negotiate a British 'say' on trade deals signed by the bloc in future - but admit it would rule out UK-specific deals sought by Brexiteers

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn (pictured in London today) wants to negotiate a British 'say' on trade deals signed by the bloc in future - but admit it would rule out UK-specific deals sought by Brexiteers

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn (pictured in London today) wants to negotiate a British ‘say’ on trade deals signed by the bloc in future – but admit it would rule out UK-specific deals sought by Brexiteers

Labour is pushing its plans again this week as the Prime Minister faces near certain defeat in a second vote on on the deal within weeks. 

Mr McDonnell told the BBC’s Andrew Marr today: ‘We could agree … Labour’s deal within a matter of weeks – the European Union has looked positively on that

‘In all the discussions we’ve had they see that as the foundation of a proper negotiation.’ 

Mr McDonnell said he expected a three month delay to be agreed by the EU if and when Mrs May’s deal is voted down on Tuesday night.

In the event of defeat, Mrs May has promised MPs will get to vote on delaying Brexit on Thursday – a day after they vote on whether to accept a no deal Brexit. 

Elsewhere today, shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer has said he expects Tuesday’s Commons debate to end with a single vote on Theresa May’s Brexit deal.

‘I think there is a growing feeling that this Tuesday should be a straight up-and-down vote on that deal,’ he told Sky News’s Sophy Ridge On Sunday programme.

Labour's proposals break Theresa May's red lines but were seized upon by Brussels after her deal was crushed by MPs in January

Labour's proposals break Theresa May's red lines but were seized upon by Brussels after her deal was crushed by MPs in January

Labour’s proposals break Theresa May’s red lines but were seized upon by Brussels after her deal was crushed by MPs in January

‘I don’t know whether something dramatic will happen in the next 24 hours but unless it does, exactly the same deal is going to be put before Parliament.

‘That is eight weeks of failure to come back and present exactly what was rejected so on Tuesday that has got to be exposed.’

Sir Keir said he still expected there would be an opportunity for MPs to vote for a second referendum in the days ahead, either on a Labour amendment or one tabled by backbenchers.

‘It doesn’t mean that a public vote is gone. It doesn’t mean we won’t come to it. We will have to work with others,’ he said. ‘There is going to be plenty of opportunities for amendments.’

 

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