Downing Street sees red lines as Theresa May refuses to meet half way
What is the point of negotiations when neither side is willing to compromise on anything?
Less than 48 hours after the PM’s thumping Brexit defeat in the Commons, it is abundantly clear that, despite all the talk of trying to build a cross-party consensus on Brexit, there is precious little evidence that it is remotely possible.
Theresa May has met with the Lib Dems, SNP, Plaid Cymru and Greens so far, with precisely zero progress being made towards coming up with a plan for leaving the EU that most MPs can get behind. The fault for this doesn't lie solely with the PM, but she needs to shoulder most of the blame.
"She is still so set within her page of red lines that she's created for herself, it is impossible to that she's going to be able to find a way forward," said Caroline Lucas after her meeting with May this morning.
Whether it’s a second referendum, extending Article 50 or agreeing to a customs union, Number 10 has given no indication that May could meet her opponents halfway, despite the absolute hammering her deal took in the Commons on Tuesday night.
“We expected people to come with their own views and ideas and these are going to be discussed,” said her spokesman. “Clearly there are some areas that we’re not going to agree on, but the very purpose of the meetings is to find some consensus where there is a way forward.”
He went on: “We do genuinely go into this in constructive spirit and ready to hear what the various groups have to say.
“The prime minister has said she fully understands that the deal was rejected and by a significant margin so we have to find a way forward to convince the House to support the package that we put to the House in future.”
But the spokesman also made clear that the PM will stick to her “principles”. Which sound an awful lot like red lines she will not cross…