Labour Party would vote against any Brexit deal May reaches, senior lawmaker says

Britain’s opposition Labour Party is set to vote against any Brexit deal reached by Prime Minister Theresa May and the lack of a viable exit from the EU will force May from office before Christmas, a senior Labour lawmaker told the Financial Times.

The United Kingdom is due to leave the European Union on March 29 and yet little is clear. There is, so far, no full exit agreement and some rebels in May’s Conservative Party have threatened to vote down a deal if she clinches one.
If rebels in her party do vote against a deal, the fate of May’s government and the whole exit process would depend on Labour because she would not command the 320 votes needed to carry parliament.
Emily Thornberry, Labour’s foreign secretary in waiting, told the FT that a workable deal was “just not going to happen” under May.
Labour has set six tests for supporting any Brexit deal but Thornberry said she saw little chance of any May deal satisfying them.
“I can’t see them coming back with a deal that is going to meet our six tests and I can’t see them coming back with a deal that will unite the Tory party, for Heaven’s sake ,” Thornberry told the FT.
Thornberry said there would need to be a national election within months given the likelihood that the prime minister would be defeated on the crucial vote on any Brexit deal.
“They are not capable of governing . . . We’re either going to have a general election in the autumn or we’re going to have it in the spring,” she said.
Thornberry said she wanted a national election rather than another referendum.
Britain and Europe's chief Brexit negotiators held their latest round of talks by telephone Friday but made little fresh progress just days before a major EU summit.
Brexit minister Dominic Raab and EU commissioner Michel Barnier have previously vowed to pursue divorce negotiations "continually" as the clock runs out on a deal.
But rather than hold another round of their regular Brussels face-to-face encounters, on Friday they chose to speak by phone -- apparently without making tangible progress.
"We discussed the latest progress our teams have made on the withdrawal agreement and the framework for the future relationship," Raab said, according to his office.
"While there remain some substantive differences we need to resolve, it is clear our teams are closing in on workable solutions to the outstanding issues in the withdrawal agreement, and are having productive discussions in the right spirit on the future relationship."
Raab's statement supported reports that the two sides expect to agree the terms under which Britain will leave the union in time for an extraordinary EU summit in mid-November.
Alongside the divorce deal will come a political statement on plans for a future trade deal, but there are important differences between London and Brussels on both issues.
An official from Barnier's office confirmed Friday's call: "They took stock of the ongoing negotiations."
On Wednesday next week, Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May will address her 27 EU colleagues on Brexit at a dinner ahead of Thursday's Salzburg informal EU summit.
But no final decision is expected. Instead, officials hope the talks will give new momentum to the dialogue leading up to the regular EU summit on October 18.
This had been seen as the deadline to agree the terms of the Brexit deal, due to go into effect next March, but the leaders are now expected to plan a third -- hopefully final -- get together in November.