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Ahead of this afternoon’s May-Corbyn meeting the two leaders get warmed up with a spiky PMQs exchange

January 30th, 2019

If we were to predict the outcome of this afternoon’s historic meeting face-to-face meeting between TMay and Mr Corbyn based on what happened at today’s PMQs it is hard to see this taking things very much forward.

But Mrs May and Jeremy Corbyn have a joint interest for the country not to leave the EU on March 29th with No Deal. She cannot be certain of her CON votes and the complicated relationship with the DUP. This, on the face it, should put Corbyn in a stronger position.

The problem is, of course, is that the PM always has the divisions in her own party to think about and it is perhaps hard to see her going forward with whatever the Labour leader offers.

As has been commented on many times once you strip away the wording and rhetoric from LAB’s proposed deal and what Theresa May has there is very little difference in functional effectiveness. The UK would be still in the Customs Union in one form or another.

    The pressure on Corbyn is that he doesn’t want to see Labour’s fingerprints on a no deal brexit. If that happens he has to be able to totally blame the Tories for all the consequences. So far his ambiguity has actually not been an issue. Now that is changing.

No doubt later on this evening we will get reports from both sides of how they saw it going.

The BBC’s political editor, Laura kuenssberg, noted before PMQs started that both Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May have reputations for not talking very much in meetings. Maybe it’s all going to be silence?

Mike Smithson