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Theresa May calls Brexit bill vote following talks with Jeremy Corbyn



LONDON — Theresa May has announced that she will hold a crucial vote on the legislation required to take Britain out of the EU, following talks with Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn.

The prime minister said she would call the vote on her Withdrawal Bill in the first week of June in order to allow Brexit to take place by the time of Parliament’s summer recess in July.

In a statement, a Downing Street spokesperson said: “This evening the Prime Minister met the Leader of the Opposition in the House of Commons to make clear our determination to bring the talks to a conclusion and deliver on the referendum result to leave the EU.”

“We will therefore be bringing forward the Withdrawal Agreement Bill in the week beginning the 3rd June. “It is imperative we do so then if the UK is to leave the EU before the summer Parliamentary recess.”

The spokesperson added that while talks with Corbyn had been “useful and constructive,” discussions would need to continue in the coming days and weeks to “ensure the safe passage of the Withdrawal Agreement Bill and the UK’s swift exit from the EU.”

The announcement comes despite no agreement on a deal yet being secured between the two parties.

Speaking at an event hosted by the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor McDonnell said that the government was “nowhere near” to accepting Labour’s demands.

“We have been at this five weeks. We haven’t seen the significant shift yet that we require to support a deal,” McDonnell said.

“We want a permanent, comprehensive customs union. We want dynamic alignment with the single market. We want protection of worker, consumer and environmental rights.”

He added: “I won’t go into the detail of what’s been offered but it’s nowhere near enough.”

He said that talks had hit a particularly low point on Monday after senior Tory MPs, including possible successors to May, wrote to the prime minister urging her not to strike deal with Labour based on a customs union.

McDonnell’s comments were echoed by Labour’s Shadow Environment Secretary, Sue Hayman.

She told Business Insider on Tuesday that Labour was “trying to be very constructive” in talks with government ministers “but for there to be genuine progress the government has to move on its red lines.”

She suggested that Labour could soon walk out of talks if the government did not shift its red lines.

“At the moment we are committed to continuing them but we need to be able to get to a stage where we believe that any deal we come up with is something we can through Parliament — and that isn’t straightforward.”

Senior figures in May’s government have repeatedly warned the prime minister agreeing any form of customs union with the Labour party, with the International Trade Secretary Liam Fox threatening to walkout of government.

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