Brexit deal: German Chancellor raises hope, calls progress 'encouraging'

Corbyn also called for cooperative relationship, gets standing ovation for his speech

With just 17 months left before Britain is due to leave, British Prime Minister arrived at the two-day summit in Brussels today, with other EU leaders, to revive the Brexit talks beyond the divorce settlement and onto trade. She has called for “urgency” from the EU in settling the issue of citizens’ rights after Brexit.

Earlier today, May promised three million EU citizens living in the UK to make it easy to stay after March 2019. Letters were reportedly sent to thousands of EU citizens who have registered with the Home Office for updates on the Brexit negotiations. “I couldn’t be clearer: EU citizens living lawfully in the UK today will be able to stay,” May wrote.

Read related story: Reversing Brexit would ‘significantly’ boost the UK economy

May wants the negotiations agenda, which is stuck on the details of the estimated £54bn divorce bill, to move further. This, however, requires approval from the EU 27 leaders.

Coming to her aide, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the progress so far was “not sufficient to enter the second phase” but added that “it is encouraging. We will continue the talks with a view to reaching the second phase in December.”

Speaking in Brussels was also Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who was reportedly given a hero’s welcome and a standing ovation for his speech at the Europe Together conference.

Calling for cooperative relationship from EU, Corbyn said: “Let me be clear, the British Labour party does not see anyone in Europe as an enemy. We see people across Europe as friends… Our commitment is clear. We must and will respect the result of the EU referendum but at the same time build a new close and cooperative relationship with our fellow Europeans based on our common interests. We are internationalists…”

“The UK and the European Union must take steps together. There is no need for insults or divisive posturing. It is our responsibility to build a relationship that will continue to thrive for generations to come, and we in the Labour party are determined to achieve that,” Corbyn added.

 

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