Prime Minister Theresa May to take defeated Brexit deal back to Parliament

British Prime Minister Theresa May will bring her thrice defeated Brexit deal back to parliament for MPs to consider again in the week beginning June 3, a Downing Street spokesman says.

"This evening the prime minister met the leader of the opposition [Jeremy Corbyn] in the House of Commons to make clear our determination to bring the talks to a conclusion and deliver on the referendum result to leave the EU," the spokesman said on Tuesday.

"We will therefore be bringing forward the Withdrawal Agreement Bill in the week beginning the 3rd June."

The British government has agreed it is "imperative" to ratify Britain's exit from the European Union before the summer break, setting out the clearest deadline so far for the embattled plan and the prime minister's possible departure.

Nearly three years after the United Kingdom voted 52 per cent to 48 per cent to leave the EU, there is still no agreement among politicians about when, how or even if the divorce will take place.

Britain had been due to leave the EU on March 29, but May was unable to get her divorce deal ratified by parliament.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said EU leaders did not want an extension beyond the new deadline of October 31, when the legal default is to leave with or without a deal.

To try to break the deadlock in parliament, May turned to Labour, led by Corbyn, a veteran socialist, but after weeks of talks they have failed to reach agreement. May has been urged by senior members of her own party to abandon the talks.

Senior ministers agreed at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, however, to press ahead with the talks, May's spokesman said.

"Ministers involved in the negotiations set out details of the compromises which the government was prepared to consider in order to consider an agreement which would allow the UK to leave the EU with a deal as soon as possible," the spokesman said.

"However, it was agreed that it is imperative to bring forward the Withdrawal Agreement Bill in time for it to receive royal assent by the summer parliamentary recess."

Parliament usually breaks for the summer in the second half of July although the exact date has not yet been set.

It must approve the Withdrawal Agreement Bill in order to ratify Britain's exit from the bloc. May has said she will step down once the first phase of Brexit is complete. It would be followed by negotiations on a new trade deal with the EU.

Thirteen of May's former cabinet colleagues as well as Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 Committee of Conservative MPs, wrote to May on Tuesday to ask her not to agree to Labour's demand for a post-Brexit customs union with the EU.

"You would have lost the loyal middle of the Conservative Party, split our party and with likely nothing to show for it," the letter said. "We urge you to think again."

"No leader can bind his or her successor so the deal would likely be at best temporary, at worst illusory," said the letter, whose signatories included Gavin Williamson, who was sacked as defence minister this month, and former foreign minister Boris Johnson.

Reuters