Theresa May blames hardline anti-EU Tories for Brexit deadlock (FT)

  • Theresa May has blamed hardline Brexiters in her own Conservative party for MPs’ failure to pass an exit deal from the EU.
  • In a letter to Tory MPs, Mrs May said she would have “preferred” to ratify the deal based on Conservative and DUP votes. “But, having tried three times, it is clear that is unlikely to happen.”
  • She added: “I realise some of you will be concerned about the government discussing the way forward with the opposition. However, with some colleagues unwilling to support the government in the division lobbies, this is the only way to deliver the smooth, orderly Brexit that we promised.”

Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn hold ‘constructive’ talks (BBC)

  • Theresa May has responded to criticism from her own MPs over talks with Jeremy Corbyn by saying all MPs have a responsibility to deliver Brexit.
  • The UK has until 12 April to propose a plan to the EU – which must be accepted by the bloc – or it will leave without a deal on that date.
  • Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn have called talks to break the Brexit deadlock in Parliament “constructive”.
  • The two leaders met on Wednesday afternoon and agreed a “programme of work” to try to find a way forward to put to MPs for a vote.
  • It is understood that each party has appointed a negotiating team, which are meeting tonight ahead of a full day of discussions on Thursday.

Juncker tells UK parliament to reach Brexit deal by April 12 (FT)

  • Jean-Claude Juncker has warned Britain it must approve its exit agreement with the EU within nine days if it wants a short delay to Brexit, as Downing Street prepares for European elections that could permit a longer extension.
  • The remarks from the European Commission president highlight the time pressure on MPs as both Brussels and Westminster weigh the political and legal implications of postponing Britain’s departure date once again.

No-deal Brexit won’t let UK off its commitments to EU, Juncker says (MLex)

  • The UK must find solutions to the Irish border, financial commitments and EU citizens’ rights even under a no-deal Brexit, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has said, and meeting these commitments is a condition for the EU to start talks with London on the future relationship. “No Withdrawal Agreement does not mean no commitment,” Juncker said.