UK Chancellor Philip Hammond says second Brexit referendum must be considered

Theresa May seeks to delay Brexit until June 30 EU leader urges longer ‘flextension

At least 200 people have applied to stand as candidates for the new Independent Group if the United Kingdom takes part in European elections next month - amid growing signs that the contest could turn into a "proxy referendum" on whether to leave or remain in the EU. Given that Parliament has also made clear it will oppose a no-deal Brexit, the only way to secure a deal was through a compromise with Labour. If we can not secure a majority among Conservative and DUP MPs we have no choice but to reach out across the House of Commons.

"We've had exchanges with the government over the weekend, clarifying our position, they've been setting out their's", she said, suggesting talks would resume later this week.

Chancellor Philip Hammond said he is "optimistic" that discussions could reach "some form" of consensus.

Prisons minister Rory Stewart told BBC Radio 4's PM programme there were "tensions" but insisted that both sides were very close and that there was "quite a lot of life" left in the talks.

Shadow business secretary Rebecca Long Bailey also appeared on the Andrew Marr Show, as she is one of the Labour team in the cross-party talks.

The issue of leaving or staying in the European Union is highly divisive among Labour voters and Corbyn's campaigning for Remain in the 2016 poll is lukewarm.

But three days of talks ended without agreement on Friday, with Labour's Sir Keir Starmer saying ministers were not "countenancing any change" to the text.

To avoid that outcome, May asked EU Council President Donald Tusk on Friday for an extension until June 30.

European Union leaders have also indicated they would be more likely to offer a longer extension of up to a year, to avoid setting a firm new deadline in a few months' time that would cause yet another cliff-edge crisis.

On Saturday night, Downing Street said discussions with Labour to find a Brexit compromise that could pass through Parliament before the April 10 European Union summit were "ongoing" at a technical level, but declined to be drawn on whether there were any plans to hold votes on Monday or Tuesday, before May heads to Brussels.

"Most of the colleagues that I am talking to accept we will need longer to complete this process", Hammond told reporters in Bucharest. The two main parties, parliament and the nation at large remain profoundly split over the terms for departure, or even over whether to leave at all.

But the Conservative Party is divided over Brexit, with many MPs rebelling against the whips, effectively voiding the government's majority.

Education Minister Nadhim Zahawi warned: "It would be, I think, a suicide note of the Conservative Party if we had to fight the European elections".

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