After over 7 hours of cabinet talks on Tuesday, the Prime Minister Theresa May announced that she will offer to hold talks with the leader of the opposition, Jeremy Corbyn, in what could be a significant moment for the future of Brexit.
Cabinet ministers were inside 10 Downing Street for over 7 hours on Tuesday as they tried to break the Brexit deadlock. Early on Tuesday evening, the Prime Minister made a statement, before cabinet ministers were then allowed to access their phones and leave Downing Street.
In her statement, Theresa May said she would seek a further extension of Article 50, while trying to avoid the need for participation in the EU elections. Mrs May said;
“Today I am taking action to break the logjam.”
She said”Leaving with a deal is the best solution so we will need a further extension of Article 50, one that is a short as possible.”, adding that she was “offering to sit down with the Leader of the Opposition” to agree on a way forward.
If Mrs May and Mr Corbyn are able to agree on a way forward, they will present this to the House of Commons for a vote. If they are unable to make a decision, they will present multiple options to the House for votes.
There was no word on whether Mrs May’s cabinet came to an agreement, and many media sources are predicting potential resignations to follow shortly. The speech saw the Prime Minister move away from a no-deal and towards a softer Brexit, something that is likely to anger staunch Brexiteers.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Yvette Cooper and MPs in the House of Commons have launched a motion trying to take no deal off the table.
Mr Corbyn has said he is very happy to meet with the PM. It is unknown exactly what Mr Corbyn will demand as a compromise, but a customs union or a confirmatory public vote on the Brexit Deal seem likely to be priorities that the Labour leader could argue for.
Theresa May’s attempt to achieve “national unity” has not been popular with many Conservative MPs. Former party leader, Ian Duncan Smith told Sky News, “This is an utter disaster. We are just about to legitimise Corbyn. It’s appalling.”