April 19, 2019

Brexit cannot define us, says PM May's deputy as ratings dip

15 April 2019, 02:38 | Devin Moran

Farage told supporters that the UK's two-party system cannot cope with Brexit

Farage told supporters that the UK's two-party system cannot cope with Brexit

Prime Minister Theresa May's effective deputy, David Lidington, said they wanted to be able to "take stock" of any progress when parliament returns from its Easter break on April 23.

"I don't think this question can be allowed to drag out for much longer, I think the public rightly wants politicians to get on and deal with it".

They would discuss environmental standards and workers' rights after Brexit as well as the future security relationship with the EU.

"She's younger than I am but I am very influenced by her, therefore it's odd that we should be in different parties, to some extent uncomfortable for us both", he said.

Speaking on BBC One's The Andrew Marr Show, Mr Lidington, reiterated the Government's position that any agreement reached between the Conservatives and Labour would require "compromise on both sides".

He said it is possible to get the benefits of the customs but still have the flexibility for the United Kingdom to pursue an independent trade policy with other countries.

If the cross-party talks do not end in an agreement, then Mr Lidington said the Government would "put before Parliament a set of options" which it would "actually having to come to a preferred option" on "rather than voting against everything".

In an interview on Sky News' Sophy Ridge on Sunday, Mr Duncan Smith warned the Brexit extension agreed by European Union leaders last week and accepted by Mrs May represented a "political death" for his party.

"Defining ourselves as the Brexit party, pursuing the hardest form of Brexit with a parliament that will not deliver it, is a recipe for paralysis in government and suicide with the electorate", he wrote for the Sunday Times.

Tory grandees have raised the possibility of a change in the rules governing challenges to the party leader.

'If European elections go ahead and the Conservative Government carries on regardless, we will not participate'.

Nadine Dorries, a Eurosceptic MP and keen supporter of Boris Johnson's leadership campaign, hit back at what she suggested was a concerted campaign against Johnson. "Many of those with their own eye on No 10 aren't a fan of that prospect".

The row was revealed after Richard Corbett, Labour's leader in the European parliament, said Mr Corbyn must back a second referendum - or "confirmatory vote" - in its Euro elections manifesto. "The big problem was as soon as we didn't leave, you could see all the poll ratings start to crash".

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