Brexit: Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn meet after timetable rejected

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Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn

Boris Johnson has met Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn amid uncertainty over what happens next with Brexit.

The meeting comes after MPs rejected the PM’s plan to fast-track Brexit legislation through Parliament.

The BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg says she understands nothing was agreed.

Labour was keen to discuss a different timetable for the Brexit bill, while the PM wanted to know what Mr Corbyn would do if the EU refused to extend the 31 October deadline, she added.

A Labour Party spokesperson said: “Jeremy Corbyn reiterated Labour’s offer to the prime minister to agree a reasonable timetable to debate, scrutinise and amend the Withdrawal Agreement Bill, and restated that Labour will support a general election when the threat of a no-deal crash-out is off the table.”

The PM said he would pause the progress of the bill after MPs rejected a plan to pass it in just three days.

After that defeat, Mr Corbyn said his party was prepared to work with the government to agree “a reasonable timetable” to scrutinise the Brexit legislation properly.

At Prime Minister’s Questions, Mr Johnson said it was “remarkable” that MPs backed the Withdrawal Agreement Bill (WAB) on its first hurdle through the Commons, but a “great shame” the House did not back the timetable for it.

They “willed the end but not the means”, he said.

And Mr Johnson said it was “peculiar” that Mr Corbyn appeared to want him to bring back the bill when Labour MPs were told to vote against it on Tuesday.

But the Labour leader said it was Mr Johnson who had “decided to delay his own withdrawal bill” when he made the decision to pause it.

General election

Meanwhile, EU leaders are considering whether to grant a delay to the Brexit deadline and what length it should be.

Taoiseach (Irish prime minister) Leo Varadkar has confirmed he supports the proposal to grant the UK’s request.

Mr Johnson was forced by law to send a letter to Brussels requesting a three-month extension, and No 10 had indicated he would push for a general election if the EU agreed.

However, he cannot simply call one, as prime ministers did before the passage of the 2011 Fixed-term Parliaments Act.

Under that act, he would need the backing of Parliament, and opposition MPs have previously ruled out holding one until the possibility of a no-deal Brexit on 31 October was ruled out altogether.

Some Conservative MPs say the government should take the Labour Party up on its offer to come up with a timetable for the WAB that satisfies all sides.

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