JEREMY Corbyn has told the EU’s chief negotiator he is “ready to take up the responsibility for Brexit negotiations” if he replaces Theresa May as Prime Minister.

The Labour leader was one of several UK politicians in Brussels to see Michel Barnier, who also held separate meetings with Nicola Sturgeon and Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones.

The talks gave Mr Barnier an extra insight into Mrs May’s domestic opposition over Brexit ahead of a second formal round of talks between the UK and EU on Monday.

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He stressed he was not negotiating with other parties, only the UK government, but added in a tweet: "My door is open, listen to all Brexit views.”

Mr Barnier has warned significant issues remain to be tackled, including EU citizens’ rights and the UK’s so-called “divorce bill” for Brexit, estimated at up to €100bn.

After Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said this week the EU could “go whistle” for that kind of sum, Mr Barnier said witheringly: “I'm not hearing any whistling, just the clock ticking.”

Mr Corbyn, accompanied by Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer and Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott, had a two hour meeting with Mr Barnier after exchanging gifts.

Mr Corbyn gave the sports mad Mr Barnier an Arsenal shift with his name on it, while Mr Barnier presented Mr Corbyn with a 1920s railway poster from his home region of Savoy.

Speaking after the meeting at the European Commission HQ, Mr Corbyn said he told Mr Barnier Labour respected the EU referendum result, but wanted a Brexit that protected jobs.

He also said Labour would offer citizens’ rights to EU nationals in the UK unilaterally, rather than haggle over them, and pay "what we are legally required" for the withdrawal process.

The Tories said Mr Corbyn would “surrender” rather than negotiate if he was in charge.

Mr Corbyn said: "Under a Labour government, we will negotiate to make sure we have the trading relationship with Europe that protects industry, protects jobs and protects services.

"We had a frank discussion about the process and the situation. It was a very useful meeting.

"In contrast to the Conservatives' megaphone diplomacy, we will conduct relations with our European neighbours respectfully and in the spirit of friendship.”

The Scottish Government said Ms Sturgeon was also pleased with her 45-minute meeting with Mr Barnier, who had a copy of “Scotland’s Place in Europe” with him, the First Minister’s plan for a bespoke Scottish Brexit which has so far been rejected by the UK government.

She said afterwards: “I welcomed the opportunity to discuss Scotland's priorities with Mr Barnier - in particular, our view that the UK should seek to remain in the single market.

"I outlined our priority is to protect Scotland's vital economic interests and that the Scottish Government will do all it can to build a consensus against an extreme Brexit outside the single market.

"We have always been clear that this is not about holding separate Scottish negotiations - it is for the UK as the member state to negotiate with the EU - and as such we will continue to work hard to influence the UK position.

"However, meetings like this are helpful in developing a mutual understanding between the Scottish Government and the EU as these vital negotiations gather pace."

The meetings coincided with the UK government publishing its Brexit repeal bill, which will transpose EU law into UK law at the point of departure in 2019.

Mr Jones, who like Ms Sturgeon denounced the bill as a “naked power grab” against the devolved administrations, said the meeting with Mr Barnier was intended to underline that Wales wanted to main close ties with the EU after Brexit.

He had also stressed the need for a "seamless” maritime border with Ireland.

"If there is a seamless border between north and south Ireland - which we want to see - the border needs to be as seamless between Wales and Ireland, the maritime border.

"Otherwise, there is a disincentive for trade to come through via the Welsh ports."

He added: "Brexit has to work for all the nations of the UK and all the sectors of the UK. It is mightily important that the voices of all four nations of the UK are heard equally."

Tory MP James Cleverly said: "Jeremy Corbyn wouldn't negotiate in Brexit talks, he would surrender. He has made clear Labour would accept any deal on offer - even if it was designed to punish Britain.”