BREXIT SNUB: Barnier warns Stephen Barclay that Brussels WILL NOT renegotiate May’s deal

Mr Barnier said: “I found Corbyn’s letter interesting in tone and in content.”

Labour’s shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer accused the Prime Minister of “running down the clock” in the run up to the March 29 exit date.

Speaking in Dublin ahead of a series of meetings with unions, business and political leaders, Sir Keir said: “I am concerned that with 46 days to go the Prime Minister is simply running down the clock, mindful that the next EU Summit is March 21 and if she’s is trying to run the clock down Parliament has to step in with a hard stop to say we are not going to accept that.”

Mrs May’s parliamentary allies in the Democratic Unionist Party once again insisted the Irish backstop remains at the “central problem” in the Brexit deadlock.

Nigel Dodds, the DUP deputy leader said: “Whilst the focus will return to Brexit in Parliament this week, the backstop remains the central problem and it must be dealt with.

“The Prime Minister has committed to securing legally binding changes to the Withdrawal Agreement. Those changes will be required for Parliament to support any deal.

“The EU cannot continue to hark back to a proposed deal which was comprehensively rejected by the House of Commons. There is no agreement without Parliament’s support.

“Some of the language and rhetoric employed last week was not conducive to making progress and securing the agreement we all want to see. Whether it is the European Council or former UK prime ministers. It’s time to dial down the rhetoric and focus on solutions rather than scaremongering.

“Over the next number of weeks the options will become increasingly clear, particularly for the European Union. If the political will is there then an agreement can be achieved.

“The alternative is to cling to an unacceptable backstop which actually increases the chances of an outcome it was supposedly designed to prevent. It can make no sense for anyone to continue pursuing such a perverse policy.”

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