Theresa May begs Corbyn to save Brexit after Tories brutal local election defeat

UK's Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn says party will back new referendum on Brexit. (Courtesy)
A desperate Theresa May is set to beg Jeremy Corbyn to deliver Brexit this week after suffering a brutal defeat in the local elections.

The PM is reportedly planning to okay her negotiators to make big concessions to the Labour leader when the meetings between the parties resume on Tuesday.

It comes after voters across the country delivered a decisive verdict on her government - with the Conservatives losing over 1,300 councillors in Thursday's election.

But any movement to offer concessions to Labour, which would be essential to get the party to agree to the government's withdrawal plans, will send the Tories civil war nuclear.

According to reports in The Sunday Times May will outline plans for a comprehensive but temporary customs arrangement with the EU lasting until the next general election.

She will also agree to stay in line with the EU on a range of regulations - making it easier for Britain to trade with block and agree to match workers’ rights legislation from the continent. But Tories are stepping up plans to oust the PM sooner rather than later - potentially killing off any deal.

In a shot across Mrs May's bow, Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of the 1922 committee of Tory backbenchers said that staying in a customs union could lead to a "catastrophic split" in the Conservative Party at a time when the opposition is led by "dangerous extremists".

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Former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith has called on Mrs May announce her resignation, and if she fails to he believes she should be removed from power.

Writing in the Mail on Sunday, Theresa May apologised for the defeat and finally admitted that her deal was dead.

But she called on the Labour leader to help her deliver Brexit - or risk damaging trust in democracy. She wrote: "It is clear that the voters delivered their judgment in large part based on what is happening – or not happening – at Westminster.

"And, as Prime Minister, I fully accept my share of the responsibility for that.

"Clearly, the public is fed up with the failure of both of the two main parties to find a way to honour the result of the referendum, take the United Kingdom out of the European Union and to bring our country back together again."

After saying that backing her deal now would let a future Parliament decide the type of Brexit Britain ends up with she begs Mr Corbyn to back her. She adds: "To the Leader of the Opposition, I say this: let’s listen to what the voters said in the local elections and put our differences aside for a moment.

"Let’s do a deal."

Even if a deal is struck this week it is now too late to cancel elections to the European Parliament, Whitehall sources have confirmed.

But even if Mrs May can keep her party together - opposition to Brexit in Parliament, and among Labour MPs remains strong.

Last night, 104 opposition MPs from Labour, the SNP , Change UK,  the GreenParty and Plaid Cymru wrote to both the PM and the leader of the opposition insisting they will not back a “Westminster stitch-up” and said any deal must be put to "final say" referendum.

The MPs say: “The very worst thing we could do at this time is a Westminster stitch-up whether over the PM’s deal or another deal.

But Conservative members may never forgive the PM if she strikes a deal with Mr Corbyn.

Sam Smith, chairman of Gedling Conservative Association in Nottingham told The Sunday Times: “The prime minister’s botched Brexit deal already suffered the biggest defeats on record because it doesn’t deliver the referendum result.

"And now we’re allowing the Marxist, Jeremy Corbyn, to put the finishing touches to it. We must change course rapidly or the party will implode.”

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage warned Mrs May against agreeing a customs deal with Mr Corbyn, telling the Telegraph: "If the Tories do a deal with Labour on the customs union they will be going into coalition with the Opposition against the people."

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Jeremy CorbynTheresa MayToryBrexit