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Two leaders poised to meet

Fairbairn tells May: ‘no more time wasting’ over Brexit

Theresa May No Deal statement

Theresa May: seeking breakthrough


Business leaders became increasingly exasperated last night over the damage to confidence and Britain’s reputation by the continued political Brexit chaos.

Prime Minister Theresa May offered to hold talks with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and request a further extension to Britain’s exit, leaving the markets and business leaders concerned that further delays are now impacting on day-to-day decisions.

Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI Director-General, pictured, said: “Welcome steps must be breakthrough not false dawn. Business confidence slumping, growth stalled and UK reputation in tatters. Tories must compromise on red lines and Labour come to table in good faith. No excuses, no time wasting, no party politics. Enough is enough.”

FairbairnThe pound rallied after Mrs May said she wanted to meet Mr Corbyn to agree a plan on the future relationship with the EU.

The prime minister, who made her announcement after seven hours of talks with Cabinet ministers, hopes she and the Labour leader can produce a modified version of her withdrawal deal with the EU that can secure the backing of the House of Commons.

Any agreement between the two party leaders is likely to require Mrs May accepting Labour’s demand that Britain retains a customs union, together with environmental and workers’ rights.

The meeting has angered Brexiteers in Mrs May’s party, including former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who accused her of “entrusting the final handling of Brexit to Labour”. Jacob Rees-Mogg said the government was now negotiating with Marxists.

“To allow Labour to run Brexit and to decide you would rather be supported by a Marxist than your own party is unwise,” the head of the pro-Brexit European Research Group said.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is understood to be seeking urgent talks with the Prime Minister

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