Government offers no change to PM’s Brexit deal, says Brexit Secretary

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The government has not proposed any changes to the PM’s Brexit deal during cross-party talks, says shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer.

Meetings have been taking place between Tory and Labour politicians to find a proposal to put to the Commons before an emergency EU summit next week.

But Sir Keir said the government was not “countenancing any change” on the wording of the existing plan.

A Downing Street spokesman said: “We have made serious proposals.”

The government was prepared to pursue changes to the political declaration, a plan for the future relationship with the EU, to deliver a deal that is acceptable to both sides, the spokesman said.

Sir Keir said the government’s approach was disappointing, and it would not consider any changes the actual wording of the political declaration. Compromise requires change, he said.

“We want the talks to continue and we’ve written in those terms to the government, but we do need change if we’re going to compromise.”

The UK is currently due to leave the EU on 12 April and, as yet, no withdrawal deal has been approved by MPs.

PM Theresa May has written to European Council President Donald Tusk to request an extension to 30 June.

But she says if the Commons agrees a deal in time, the UK should be able to leave before European parliamentary elections on 23 May.