Brexit: Theresa May offers 'national unity' talks to break deadlock

Mrs May said that if she could not agree a unified approach with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn then the government would agree a number of options on the future relationship with the European Union and put them before the House of Commons in a series of votes.

Mrs May added: "Today I'm taking action to break the logjam".

Liz Truss, Conservative MP for South West Norfolk, who has been tipped to take over from Theresa May, said it was now time to back the prime minister's deal. The meeting finally wound up shortly before 5pm, but ministers were held inside without access to their mobile phones while Mrs May prepared her statement.

"Crucially, the Government stands ready to abide by the decision of the House, but to make this process work, the Opposition would need to agree to this too".

The UK has until 12 April to propose a plan - which must be accepted by the European Union - or it will leave without a deal. "Not the fantasy Brexit that was sold to them in 2016", he said.

Despite the difficulties of a chaotic exit, "the European Union will be able to manage", Barnier said, although he warned that "not everything will be smooth".

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French President Emmanuel Macron and Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar are meeting in Paris to discuss the impact of Brexit.

The Labour MP for Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford said: "We are now in a really unsafe situation with a serious and growing risk of no deal in 10 days' time".

Instead of initiating a third round of indicative votes on Wednesday, when Parliament once more has control over the Commons timetable, Sir Oliver will table a paving motion to allow debate and votes on Ms Cooper's bill.

The politician appeared on the Mike Graham show following last night's series of "indicative votes", in which MPs failed to find a majority for any alternative Brexit options to the Prime Minister's deal. Letwin admitted that the bill would be "difficult" to pass, saying, "This is a last-ditch attempt to prevent our country being exposed to the risks inherent in a no-deal exit".

Last week, Parliament took control of the process away from the government in order to hold a series of votes created to find an alternative way forward.

Even Remainer QC Jo Maugham, who was behind the case that resulted in the European Court of Justice ruling the United Kingdom could unilaterally withdraw Article 50, explained that the bill was impractical, with an unworkable time scale and missing other significant details, the lawyer lamenting, "This is hopeless when we are so very near to No Deal. But it is definitely worth trying", he added.

  • Darren Santiago