Brexit talks fail again as Government confirms Euro elections will go ahead

Labour MPs refuse to back Brexit deal without second referendum

When Britain finally leaves the EU, the European Parliament will reduce from 751 MEPs to 705, with 27 of the UK's 73 seats being distributed among the remaining member states.

"What this now means, given how little time there is, is that it is regrettably not going to be possible to finish that process before the date that is legally due for European parliamentary elections", he said.

"We very much hoped that we would be able to get our exit sorted... so that those elections did not have to take place, but legally they do have to take place unless our withdrawal has been given legal effect".

Lidington said the government still hoped Britain would leave the bloc before the new European Parliament takes up its seats in early July.

Brexiteer Nigel Farage will seek a place at the Brexit negotiating table if his nascent political party comes out top in the European elections.

Talks with Labour, which has pledged conditional support for a second referendum, are due to resume on Tuesday and May's ministers have spent recent days talking up the prospect of a swift deal.

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He also suggested an agreement with Labour was unlikely: 'I can't see that it's in the Labour Party's interest to help the Conservative Party out at the moment'.

Farage's Brexit Party, founded earlier this year amid the ongoing stalemate over the UK's divorce deal with the European Union, is now leading the polls.

Both the Tories and Labour are under vast pressure after losing seats in last week's local elections.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said "compromises on all sides" were needed "because the message of last week was that voters for both main parties are very, very angry about the fact that Brexit hasn't been delivered".

Charles Walker, vice-chairman of the 1922 Committee, criticised Conservative rebels who have refused to back the prime minister's deal and accused them of unfairly "laying the blame all on her shoulders".

"The time has come for her to resign", said lawmaker Bill Cash. But if she refuses to set a date there will be a 1922 meeting this week where a plan to oust her is expected to be discussed. The sooner the better. "The teams have agreed to meet again for follow-up talks tomorrow afternoon, recognising the need to resolve the current Brexit deadlock in Parliament", said a Downing Street spokesman.

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