UK's May rejects pivot toward Brexit customs union compromise

May urges U.K. legislators to allow more time to get Brexit deal

May urges U.K. legislators to allow more time to get Brexit deal

It comes after the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who has written to the Prime Minister setting out his demands for a Brexit deal he could support, accused Mrs May of an "utterly cynical" approach.

The Leave campaign figurehead was speaking as Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay prepared for talks with European Union chief negotiator Michel Barnier as the Government stepped up efforts to secure changes to the backstop, which is created to keep the Irish border open after the UK's withdrawal.

Downing Street attempted to defuse the row after the Prime Minister failed to rule out further talks on a customs union in a letter to Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader.

Prime Minister Theresa May will pledge this week to give parliament another chance to voice their opinions on Brexit by February 27 as she tries to buy more time to negotiate a new deal with the European Union.

But No 10 said it rejected any proposals to remain in a customs union with the EU.

Today Theresa May is set to ask the Commons for another fortnight's grace to continue talks with European Union leaders to make alterations to the Irish backstop.

She insisted her deal already met numerous conditions he had set.

The Department for International Trade said the agreement would maintain UK-Swiss trade under the preferential terms now available to both countries through an European Union free trade deal.

But she said it also recognises the development of the UK's independent trade policy.

She also questioned whether the call for completely "frictionless" trade would mean reneging on Labour's commitment to end free movement by requiring single market membership.

May is already due to update parliament on her progress towards a deal on Wednesday and then on Thursday to give parliament a chance to express their opinion.

She told Mr Corbyn: "It is good to see that we agree that the United Kingdom should leave the European Union with a deal and that the urgent task at hand is to find a deal that honours our commitments to the people of Northern Ireland, can command support in Parliament and can be negotiated with the EU - not to seek an election or second referendum".

Theresa May is planning on revealing her latest Brexit plan a day early in order to give MPs "time to digest the content".

May wants to win over lawmakers in her Conservative Party with changes relating to the Northern Irish border, but the EU has refused to reopen that part of the deal and instead wants May to pursue a compromise with the main opposition Labour Party by agreeing closer UK-EU ties.

He said: "The Government will commit that if the meaningful vote, in other words the deal coming back, has not happened by 27 February then we would allow a further motion - votable in Parliament - to take place to give that sense of assurance as to the process moving forward as well in parallel".

The prime minister said in her letter: "I have always been clear that Brexit should not be at the expense of workers' rights or environmental protections".