Tories, Labour On Verge Of Compromise Brexit Deal

PM Theresa May and EC President Jean-Claude Juncker
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker shakes hands with British Prime Minister Theresa May at the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium February 7, 2019. (Photo: REUTERS/Yves Herman)

At last, the appearance of an acceptable Brexit compromise between the Tories and Labour, but will it be enough to ensure an orderly Brexit?

It's a question pregnant with heavy consequences that will be answered Tuesday when the compromise Brexit plan crafted by Prime Minister Theresa May and Labour leader Jeremy Corbin to break the Brexit deadlock is approved by both warring parties.

A high-level meeting between Conservatives and Labour will on Tuesday try to ensure a Brexit deal is finalized this week. A cross-party deal will reassure British businesses firms Brexit won't be suddenly "turned on its head" by a change of government at Westminster when May steps down.

Ministers led by May's deputy, David Lidington, will meet senior Labour frontbenchers in Whitehall Tuesday to accelerate the attempt to forge a cross-party consensus on the Brexit way forward.

In a strong indication a deal is just around the corner, May on Sunday said, "We have to find a way to break the deadlock -- and I believe the results of the local elections give fresh urgency to this."

The dark could in this otherwise silver lining are rumors suggesting that wealthy Remainders are maneuvering behind the scenes for Brexiteers to be de-selected.

The mood this early remains optimistic, however. International Development Secretary Rory Stewart was confident enough to say Tory and Labour negotiating teams have agreed "99 percent" to a blueprint for the way forward based on close customs links between the United Kingdom and the European Union.

Both parties want a Brexit deal that permits controlled immigration and independent trade policy, said Stewart.

"We agree on so many things," he noted.

Labour frontbenchers such as Corbin are pushing for a post-Brexit relationship with the EU similar to that of Turkey, which is outside the EU but part of a customs union with the bloc.

"We need to see the details of this but really our positions, we're about a quarter of an inch apart," noted Stewart. "We agree on 99 percent of this stuff and there is an advantage to this which people are not talking about, which is if we can get a cross-party deal there is a possibility that it will remain. It will be more sustainable."

 "We need investors to feel this will be there for 30 years and not just for four years and a cross-party deal is a way to do that," according to Stewart.

"We are keen to get a good Brexit deal done as soon as possible."

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