Boris Johnson, Jeremy Corbyn meeting fails to break Brexit deadlock

UPI 3 weeks ago

Oct. 23 (UPI) -- British Prime Minister Boris Johnson met with Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn on Wednesday in hopes they could break the deadlock on Britain's plan to leave the European Union by Oct. 31.

The BBC reported that nothing was agreed by Johnson or Corbyn. The prime minister's office said there was "no meeting of minds" between the two.

Parliament rejected Johnson's plan to fast-track the Withdrawal Agreement Bill, making it more likely that the EU will need to extend the deadline to January. That led Johnson to "pause" the progress on Brexit while also saying he would call for general election if the EU agreed.

Corbyn, a strong opponent of Brexit, said lawmakers must "have the necessary time to improve on this worse-than-terrible treaty."

Corbyn wants a reasonable timetable to debate, scrutinize and amend the Withdrawal Agreement Bill. He opposes the creation of a hard border in the Irish Sea. He's also concerned with workers' rights.

Johnson blasted Corbyn for appearing to want to bring the Brexit bill back while also telling his party to vote against it.

"I don't think the people of this country want a delay. I don't want a delay. I intend to press on but I'm afraid we now have to see what our EU friends will decide on our behalf that is the result of the decision that he [Corbyn] took last night," Johnson said.

Corbyn shot back that Johnson was trying to fast-track the legislation through Parliament. He accused Johnson of not being knowledgeable about his own Brexit plan when it came to the border between Britain and Northern Ireland.

"The prime minister unlawfully prorogued Parliament; he said he would refuse to comply with [the] law; he threw Northern Ireland under a bus; he ripped up protections for workers' rights and environment protections; lost every vote along the way; and tried to prevent genuine, democratic scrutiny and debate," Corbyn said.

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