Michel Barnier has said he met Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn this week because he wanted to “understand and respect” the Brexit debate in the UK.
The EU’s chief negotiator said Mr Corbyn, who he said had requested the meeting, was “an important figure” and that his door was “open to everybody”.
But he added, in response to suggestions that the meeting was an attempt to undermine Theresa May, that negotiations would only take place with the UK Government.
Labour has denied that Mr Corbyn told Mr Barnier he was open to remaining in the existing customs union after Brexit. The Government has ruled out such an arrangement.