Jeremy Corbyn’s offer to Theresa May of a softer Brexit has been seized on by Brussels as a way out of the current deadlock in the UK parliament.
EU chiefs raised the Labour leader’s compromise plan during tense, face-to-face talks with the Prime Minister on Thursday, No.10 sources revealed.
And May herself is looking “with interest” at Corbyn’s plan – for a jobs-friendly and worker-friendly exit – Downing Street officials confirmed.
But the PM privately warned EU presidents Jean-Claude Juncker and Donald Tusk that Labour was itself split over the move to back an amended version of the current withdrawal agreement between the UK and Brussels.
With just 50 days to the planned ‘Exit Day’ on March 29, May is launching a fresh diplomatic push to get EU support for a plan that could win support in the House of Commons.
She travels to Dublin on Friday, and No.10 also revealed that her Attorney General Geoffrey Cox will meet his Irish counterpart to discuss legally binding ways to amend the controversial ‘backstop’ for the Northern Ireland border.
Key details of the meetings with European leaders emerged after May revealed publicly that she had told Tusk his “hell” remarks had sparked anger in Britain.
On Wednesday night, Corbyn made a bold offer to the PM to give his support in a Commons vote if she met his five demands to soften her Brexit plans.
Among the demands are a “permanent and comprehensive UK-wide customs union”, explicit legislation to protect workers’ rights, continued membership of key EU agencies, security cooperation and ‘close alignment’ to the single market for trade.
HuffPost UK understands that Labour’s policy position has been developed following close contacts with Brussels insiders.