Verhofstadt: ‘Let Corbyn Join Brexit Negotiations’
In the latest of what have been a bizarre few days of Brexit interventions, the European Parliament’s Chief Negotiator Guy Verhofstadt has today called for Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn to be allowed to join the Brexit negotiations.
In a push for a role for Mr Corbyn, he described last month’s election result as an ‘own goal’ for Mrs May.
He said British voters had ‘rejected’ her Brexit plans and more ‘diverse’ voices should be listened to.
‘Brexit is about the whole of the UK. It will affect all UK citizens, and EU citizens in the UK.
‘This is much bigger than one political party’s internal divisions or short term electoral positioning.
‘It’s about people’s lives.
‘I believe the negotiations should involve more people with more diverse opinions.
‘Some recognition that the election result was, in part, a rejection of Theresa May’s vision for a hard Brexit would be welcome.’
When asked if he wanted Mrs May’s negotiating team to include other party leaders, his spokesman said: ‘Absolutely.’
He told the Independent:
‘It has been over a year since the referendum now and we have only just started the negotiations.
‘This delay has created uncertainty, which has not been good for anybody – not for the UK, not for the EU and not for citizens.’
The Labour chief, who travelled with colleagues Sir Keir Starmer and Diane Abbott, held talks with the EU’s Brexit chief Michel Barnier.
Speaking after the two-hour meeting, Mr Corbyn said he expressed ‘our wish to maintain jobs in Britain’ after Brexit.
He insisted he was not negotiating on Mrs May’s behalf but ‘forming an opinion on what the EU really wants in this’.
Westmonster Dave is the edtior of alt-politics.com