Cross-party Brexit negotiations remain delicate says Lidington

Nigel Farage enjoys a pint in Shoreham West Sussex during a walkabout ahead of a Brexit Party rally

"If we're going to reach an agreement on this there's going to need to be movement from both sides", he said. He then said they would "take stock" on the process once parliament resumes after its Easter break.

"I think that what the PM has to do is aim everything now towards departure before the Euros [elections] which would then allow her to step away having done what she said she would do, getting the United Kingdom out of the European Union one way or the other and then we can have another leadership election and pick a new leader, which is the way it has to be".

They said the rule of the 12-month block on a new no confidence vote "has been interpreted as being immovable".

Mr Lidington suggested the two sides were considering whether there was a "mechanism" to deliver the benefits of a customs union, such as tariff and quota-free trade with the EU, while also enabling the United Kingdom to have an independent trade policy and input into EU agreements affecting the UK.

Mr Lidington said that both sides want a future relationship with the EU where there are no tariffs on EU-UK trade, no quotas, and no rules of origin checks.

The pair told the Sunday Telegraph: "Rules are there to serve their organisation".

In an interview on Sky News' Sophy Ridge on Sunday, Mr Duncan Smith warned the Brexit extension agreed by European Union leaders last week and accepted by Mrs May represented a "political death" for his party. "We are the Conservative party, not the Vote Leave party".

The threat of a boycott by activists will raise further doubts about the ability of the cash-strapped Tories to compete against Ukip and Nigel Farage's new Brexit Party.

A Labour move to ban pro-Brexit candidates standing for the party in the European elections was revealed last night.

Nadine Dorries, a Eurosceptic MP and keen supporter of Boris Johnson's leadership campaign, hit back at what she suggested was a concerted campaign against Johnson.

The letter, seen by the Daily Mail, accuses the Prime Minister of breaking "solemn pledges" to honour the referendum result and "leave the European Union on time on March 29".

The row was revealed after Richard Corbett, Labour's leader in the European parliament, said Mr Corbyn must back a second referendum - or "confirmatory vote" - in its Euro elections manifesto. "Up until then, people were prepared to give Theresa May the benefit of the doubt", he said.

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