Jeremy Corbyn holds ‘useful’ Brexit talks with EU negotiator Michel Barnier

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Jeremy Corbyn has set out Labour’s Brexit strategy and the need to avoid a no-deal with the EU’s chief negotiator in Brussels.

Mr Corbyn described the meeting with Michel Barnier as “interesting” and “useful”, but told reporters that he was not negotiating.

Joined by Sir Keir Starmer, the shadow Brexit secretary, Mr Corbyn said the meeting was essentially about the protection of jobs and trade arrangements in the future, the border in Ireland and the rights of European Union nationals living in the UK.

The meeting comes just days after Mr Corbyn pledged to work with the Prime Minister if she brought forward a “sensible deal”.

The Labour leader, speaking after the meeting with Mr Barnier, said: “We have set out the views of the Labour Party surrounding Brexit following the conference speeches made by Keir Starmer and myself.

“We are obviously not negotiating. We are not in government, we are the opposition.

“But he was interested to know what our views are and the six tests we have laid down by which we will hold our government in future.”

In response to questions over delaying Article 50 if there was an election or second referendum, Mr Corbyn said: “Obviously it would depend when the election is, what the scenario would be.

“We would want to maintain the relationship with Europe around the six tests.”

Asked if Mr Barnier gave any indication that Labour’s plan would be easier to implement than the Chequers plan, Mr Corbyn said: “He didn’t offer and we didn’t ask him for opinions on that because that would be going over the line.

“What we did was set out our views and then he set out in broad terms what the progress is and what the timetable is.”

Mr Barnier said on Twitter after the meeting that he was “continuing to listen to all views on Brexit”.

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