May tells Corbyn: ruling out no-deal is ‘impossible’
Theresa May has told Jeremy Corbyn in a letter that ruling out a no-deal before talks between the two can take place is “an impossible condition”.
The letter, written after Corbyn initially dismissed the prime minister’s request for Brexit talks, rejects the Labour leader’s demands that a no-deal Brexit is ruled out, adding that the prime minister is “happy to discuss” his ideas.
On Thursday it also emerged that Corbyn had told Labour MPs to boycott talks with the government until the possibility of no-deal was taken off the table.
May’s letter referenced the Labour leader’s instruction to his MPs, saying: “Is it right to ask your MPs not to seek a solution with the government?” The prime minister initially said that she would be conducting meetings with opposition parties after her Brexit deal was voted down in the Commons on Tuesday.
Speaking on Thursday, the prime minister’s official spokesman said that talks with opposition parties would be conducted “in a constructive spirit, and wanting to hear what the various groups have to say”
Corbyn threatened with resignations if he supports second referendum
Jeremy Corbyn could face several resignations from his party if he allows the party to support second Brexit referendum, according to reports from the Guardian.
Labour MPs told the newspaper that they are strongly opposed to the idea of a fresh vote, suggesting they would seriously consider their positions in the party if it publicly backs the option.
On Thursday, Corbyn said that his party would only support a second referendum after pushing for its own Brexit plan, involving a customs union and “strong” alignment with the single market. If this fails, leaving the country facing “the potential disaster of no deal”, only then would the party consider backing a fresh vote.
Downing Street preparations for a second referendum revealed
The emergence of a document from Downing Street has revealed the extent that the government has planned for the possibility of a second referendum.
The Independent reports that Theresa May used a document which set out a potential timescale for a fresh referendum, presenting it in meetings held with opposition parties to discuss potential options for moving forward with Brexit.
Officials later played down the existence of the document, saying that its purpose was to demonstrate that organising a ‘people’s vote’ could take more than a year.
The prime minister’s spokeswoman said: “In order to inform the discussions, a paper, a very short paper set out in factual detail the number of months which would be required.
“This was illustrative only and our position of course is that there will be no second referendum as the prime minister has repeatedly said.”
IMF calls no-deal ‘biggest near-term risk to British economy’
Britain leaving the EU without a trade deal poses the biggest near-term risk to the British economy, an International Monetary Fund (IMF) spokesman said on Thursday.
IMF spokesman Gerry Rice said on Thursday that all Brexit outcomes would have an economic impact as they interrupted the “frictionless” trade currently seen between Britain and the EU.
“Leaving without a withdrawal agreement and a framework for the future relationship with the EU is the most significant near-term risk to the UK economy,” Rice said.
The statement comes as new reports reveal stockpiling has been ramped up in factories across the country, with millions being spent in no-deal preparations.
UK manufacturers are dedicating millions to building financial barriers against the threat of a no-deal Brexit, stockpiling raw materials and finished products in preparation for Britain crashing out of the EU.
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