Coming week important for Brexit negotiations - Barnier

Coming week important for Brexit negotiations - Barnier

But Labour has played down the prospects of a breakthrough in the cross-party talks, accusing Mrs May of refusing to change her Brexit red lines.

Senior Tories have said they still hope the elections - and the threat posed by Nigel Farage's Brexit Party - can be avoided if a compromise deal can get through Parliament before polling day, allowing the contest to be cancelled.

"This is exactly what I thought we would see, and in the coming weeks I fully expect to see support for the Brexit Party increase further", he said.

Labour's business spokesperson earlier said the talks have been productive but the government needed to move on its red lines.

Shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey hit back at claims from the Conservatives that her side has been stalling, saying: "We're certainly not dragging our heels". "We want to see hard and fast movement on those red lines as quickly as possible".

Wales' first minister has refused to back a promise to hold another Brexit referendum as part of Labour's manifesto for May's European elections.

Deputy Labour leader Tom Watson used his Twitter account to urge followers to lobby NEC members to back a public vote.

The Parliamentary Labour Party of its 229 MPs will meet at 6pm in Westminster to discuss the issue.

Since the referendum of 2016, Labour's position on leaving the European Union has been unclear at best - with Jeremy Corbyn's campaigning for Remain frequently described as lukewarm.

"The Labour party will put a prospectus in front of people that is far wider than whether there should be a referendum or not".

"We've always known this is part of Labour's policy platform, so it's something I would have expected them to raise at these meetings and they have", Mr Lidington said when asked about a second referendum after Monday's talks.

"There is still time for parliament to approve that agreement so that we don't fight those elections", he told the BBC.

The updated Labour European election leaflets will now refer to the party's preparations for a general election, with a referendum if necessary to avoid what it calls a "bad Tory deal".

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