UK opposition to offer alternative soft Brexit in policy shift

Main opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn. (AFP)
Updated 27 August 2017
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UK opposition to offer alternative soft Brexit in policy shift

EDINBURGH: Britain’s main opposition Labour Party is announcing a policy shift which opens the possibility of the country remaining in the European Union’s single market and customs union for several years as part of a “soft” brexit, a spokesman said on Saturday.
The party would propose the same “basic terms” as Britain’s current relationship with the EU during a transition period following Brexit in 2019, and after that for all options to be open, a spokesman for Labour said.
His comments came in response to a report in Britain’s Guardian and sister newspaper Observer in which shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer backed “continued membership of the EU single market beyond March 2019, when Britain leaves the EU,” so that Labour would become the party of a “soft Brexit” and offer a smoother economic outcome.
Jeremy Corbyn’s party would also “leave open the option of the UK remaining a member of the customs union and single market for good, beyond the end of the transitional period,” the paper said.
However, a longer-term arrangement would only be considered if a Labour government could by that point have persuaded the rest of the EU to “agree to a special deal on immigration and changes to freedom of movement rules,” the paper said.


White House Mideast team holds talks with Jordanian king

Updated 33 min 55 sec ago
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White House Mideast team holds talks with Jordanian king

  • Jared Kushner is in the Middle East to help lay the groundwork for an expected Israeli-Palestinian peace plan
  • Kushner’s team also plans stops in Israel, Egypt and Saudi Arabia

AMMAN: President Donald Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is in the Middle East to help lay the groundwork for an expected Israeli-Palestinian peace plan.
Kushner, along with White House envoy Jason Greenblatt, arrived in Jordan on Tuesday for talks with King Abdullah II, a key US ally. A White House statement said the talks included discussions on the Gaza humanitarian situation and US efforts to “facilitate peace between the Israelis and Palestinians.”
US officials have said their plan is near completion and could be released this summer. But it faces resistance from the Palestinians, who have cut off ties since Trump recognized contested Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Kushner’s team also plans stops in Israel, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. No talks with the Palestinians are scheduled.