Barnier offers 'no opinion' after meeting Corbyn

By Rebecca Taylor, news reporter, and Greg Heffer, political reporter
EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier offered "no opinion" on whether Labour's vision on Brexit was acceptable to the EU during a meeting with Jeremy Corbyn.
The Labour leader travelled to Brussels on Thursday for talks with Mr Barnier alongside Sir Keir Starmer, the shadow Brexit secretary.

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Speaking to reporters after their discussions, Mr Corbyn said: "We've had an interesting, useful discussion with Mr Barnier."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."
Jeremy Corbyn and Keir Starmer stage a news conference after the meeting Michel Barnier
Asked if the European Commission official had said Labour's stance on Brexit was palatable for the EU, Mr Corbyn replied: "He made no opinion on this."It's not a negotiation, it's us informing him of what our views are and him telling us what the state of play was on the negotiations."The Labour leader also revealed he did not ask if his party's plan would be easier for the EU to implement than Prime Minister Theresa May's Chequers plan."He didn't offer and we didn't ask him for opinions on that because that would be going over the line," he added."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."
A small, very peaceful square just behind Brussels’ Grand Place will today be renamed Place Jo Cox - the British MP was murdered by a far right extremist in 2016. She spent 6 years living in Brussels working for @Oxfam & as an MEP’s assistant at @Europarl_EN - @SkyNews ?— Mark Stone (@Stone_SkyNews) September 27, 2018
Prior to his discussions with the European Commission official, Mr Corbyn attended a ceremony dedicating a square in the Belgian capital to murdered MP Jo Cox.The inauguration of Place Jo Cox was led by Mrs Cox's sister Kim Leadbeater, her parents Gordon and Jean, and Brussels mayor Philippe Close.Mrs Cox, the former Labour MP for Batley and Spen, was killed by neo-Nazi terrorist Thomas Mair in the run up to the EU referendum in 2016.Prior to entering parliament, the mother-of-two had spent a number of years working in Brussels as an MEP's assistant and for Oxfam.During that time, Mrs Cox is said to have frequented the Ancienne Belgique concert hall, which backs onto the square.
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