Labour has warned the Conservatives need to be more flexible, as they had not shown any movement on a political declaration of intent on the future relationship between London and Brussels once Britain has left the EU. Prime Minister Theresa May has asked EU leaders to postpone Britain’s exit from the bloc next Friday until June 30. But the EU has responded she must first show a viable plan, as her deal has been rejected three times by the Commons.
Follow our live updates on Brexit
1.50pm update: Tommy Robinson WILL NOT be allowed to stand on a UKIP ticket if EU elections go ahead
UKIP leader Gerard Batten told LBC that former English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson won’t be among their candidates if the UK is part of EU elections next month.
EU citizens wil take to the polls on May 23 for the EU elections.
Elsewhere, Tory Education minister Nadhim Zahawi says parliament needs to “act quickly” on Brexit because participating in the European elections would be a “suicide note” for the party.
He said to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I think it’s important that parliament acts quickly now to decide what it is in favour of. We need to do that quickly because I think going into the EU elections for the Conservative party, or indeed for the Labour party, and telling our constituents why we haven’t been able to deliver Brexit I think would be an existential threat.
“I would go further and say it would be the suicide note of the Conservative party.”
1.24pm update: Hammond feels upbeat about no red lines
Labour’s home affairs spokeswoman Diana Abbott said the Conservatives needed to show a willingness to compromise on Prime Minister Theresa May’s red lines, which include no more membership of the EU’s customs union or single market.
She told BBC radio on Saturday: “My understanding is that there has been no movement from the government on the actual concept of the political declaration and that is key.
“The government perhaps has to show a little more flexibility than it seems to have done so far.”
But Mr Hammond, who is one of the most pro-European members of Mrs May’s government, signalled optimism about next Wednesday’s EU summit on , saying most EU states agreed there was a need to delay.
He said: “Most of the colleagues that I am talking to accept we will need longer to complete this process.”
He also told reporters today the Government has no red lines in the talks.
Mr Hammond said: “I am optimistic that we will reach some form of agreement with Labour.