Report: Brexit Talks Between U.K. Gov’t and Opposition Near Collapse

LONDON (Reuters) —
Placards are placed on seats inside Kings Gate Conference Centre before the start of a rally held by Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage and former Conservative Party MP Ann Widdecombe in Peterborough, Britain, Tuesday. (Reuters/Simon Dawson)

Talks between Britain’s government and the main opposition Labour Party to break the Brexit deadlock are on the verge of collapse, broadcaster ITV’s political editor said on Wednesday.

Those involved in the negotiations say they have no expectation that there will be a breakthrough and the talks could be pronounced dead later on Wednesday, Robert Peston reported.

The pound fell to a day’s low just above $1.30 on the news.

Earlier Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Britain to pitch a post-Brexit ‘special relationship’ as Iran said it may stop complying with some parts of the nuclear deal which the United States withdrew from a year ago.

Pompeo arrived in London after an unannounced visit to Iraq where he explained U.S. security concerns amid rising Iranian activity.

In London, Pompeo will meet Prime Minister Theresa May who is grappling with a three-year political crisis over the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union. He will also meet Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

As Britain tries to extract itself from the EU after 46 years of membership, a divorce many diplomats say has already made Britain weaker, Pompeo will give a speech on the so called special relationship with the United Kingdom.

Both Brexit and the sometimes unpredictable Trump presidency have strained relations between the world’s preeminent power and the United Kingdom, its main European ally.

Trump is due to make a state visit to the United Kingdom in June.

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