After more than two years of intense negotiations since Britain voted to quit the European Union in June 2016, negotiators have finally broken the deadlock to finalise a draft withdrawal agreement. Theresa May was understood to have told friends last night: “This is a deal that delivers for the millions of people who voted to leave the EU.” The proposed agreement could be rubber-stamped at a specially arranged EU summit in Brussels later this month, but the Prime Minister faces her biggest battle yet as she attempts to win the backing of her Cabinet at a crunch emergency meeting scheduled to take place at Downing Street at 2pm today.
Mrs May has already infuriated Brexiteers with the proposed deal in allowing customs union membership to become the “basis of the future relationship” with the EU , which could see Britain permanently locked to Brussels.
The Irish border has long-remained the sticking point in the Brexit negotiations between the two sides, but they have finally devised a working solution for the backstop, aimed at preventing a hard border on the island of Ireland.
But in an attempt to please the DUP and Brexiteer MPs – who she will heavily rely on to get the deal passed through Parliament – the Prime Minister may have signed up to the possibility of a permanent customs union with the EU, unless a better deal is reached by the end of the transition period in December 2020.
Mrs May’s concession to Brussels also contains “level playing field” agreements, which will lock Britain to EU rules for state aid and environment and workers’ rights during the backstop.
The new UK-wide customs arrangement backstop also means the UK “would have to sallow a link between access to products and fisheries in future agreements”.
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Brexit deal latest: Theresa May faces a crunch meeting with her Cabinet in the Commons
5.30pm update: Brexti deal document could be made public TONIGHT
If approved by Cabinet, the deal document will be published later and there will be a briefing with the PM’s spokesman.
There is then expected to be a full press conference in Downing Street.
It is understood she will make a statement and then hold a press conference with the media, unconfirmed reports say.
No word on when this will happen as the Cabinet is expected to finish at 7pm.
5.20pm update: Pound Sterling rises by more than one percent
The Pound Sterling has risen more than 1 percent from the 2018 lows of below $ 1.27 in August as expectations of a Brexit deal have grown in recent weeks.
Stephen Jen, co-chief investment officer of Eurizon SLJ Capital, a London-based hedge fund, said to expect the pound to rise to as much as $ 1.55 if a cliff-edged Brexit is avoided.
Fritz Louw, a currency strategist at MUFG in London said: “The outcome of the cabinet meeting will be a barometer test on the upcoming parliamentary vote the government will face to get the deal through.”
5.10pm update: DUP leader Arlene Foster warns of consequences
The DUP leader says she and her party cannot support a deal that would break up the UK and casts Northern Ireland aside and said it is a “worrisome deal”.
She told journalists she has not seen the deal but hopes to soon.
Arlene Foster warned that if Mrs May decides to go against her previous positions, then there will be consequences.
She said: “If she decides to go against that, if she decides to go against herself – because on many, many occasions she stood up in this very place and said she will not break up the United Kingdom, there will be no difference between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK – if she decides to go against all that, then there will be consequences.
“Of course there will be consequences. We could not as Unionists support a deal that broke up the United Kingdom.”
The PM says she has the people’s view in mind with the Brexit deal
Many are waiting for the PM to make a statement over her Brexit plans
5.00pm update: PM’s statement is delayed
The Cabinet meeting is not expected to finish until at least 6pm, four hours after it started, and could even stretch on to 7pm.
It has been reported that up to 20 people have yet to speak in Cabinet.
4.50pm update: Taxpayers could save £40bn if Parliament rejects the withdrawal deal
Brexiteer and Tory former trade secretary Lord Lilley said in the House of Lords the UK would also do business on World Trade Organisation (WTO) terms “which should not be frightening”.
He said: “I say that not just because I helped to negotiate the establishment of the WTO, but because our trade with countries with whom we trade on WTO terms has grown three times as rapidly as our trade with the single market since it was established.”
However, Labour former home secretary Lord Reid of Cardowan, who supported Remain, said: “In the event of a logjam in Parliament, which seems at least possible, why will the Government not allow the people … to have the final say on this issue?”
Brexit Minister Lord Callanan said: “We will not be holding a second referendum. We have already had a referendum. The people reached their view and we are implementing that view.”
4.40pm update: Labour MP Lisa Nandy said Government didn’t try to work together
Labour MP Lisa Nandy’s constituency of Wigan voted overwhelmingly to Leave in the referendum.
She said the Government has not made an effort to meet with opposition MPs who are the crucial vote for the Brexit deal to get through the Commons.
She told BBC Politics Live: “”The difficulty with what’s happening now is we’ve potentially got a few weeks before this comes before Parliament.
“There has been no attempt at all from the Tory government to reach out to the Labour front bench, to the backbenches, to talk to the trade unions. She’s briefing businesses this afternoon but not the trade unions.
“If she wants to get this deal through, she’s the leader of a Government that couldn’t even command a majority at the last election. She has to talk to the other side and she has to be willing to listen.”
Protestors are hoping a Brexit deal is what they voted for
4.30pm update: Mr Corbyn urges Mrs May to consider Parliament should be allowed to amend the deal
The Labour leader tweeted: “Parliament is sovereign and must have a truly meaningful vote on any Brexit agreement.
“We demand that Parliament is able to amend and propose alternatives to whatever deal the Government brings forward.”
4.20pm update: Former Brexit Secretary David Davis brands Brexit deal a “betrayal”
The Former Brexit Secretary David Davis tweeted urging Mrs May’s Cabinet to reject the deal.
He wrote: “Cabinet Ministers must recognise their responsibility and think very carefully about the decisions they make today. This deal would be a betrayal of the referendum result and have irreversible consequences for years to come.”
Mr Davis resigned from his post on July 9, 2018.
Tory MP Simon Clarke has also called the deal a “failure”.
The MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland tweeted: “A comment on the #Brexit deal. We await final confirmation of the detail. But if it is as reported, it will not have my support. More than that, it will represent a disastrous failure of policy.”
4.10pm update: IMF forecasts gloomy economic growth if there is a No Deal Brexit
A spokesperson from the IMF has said Britain will lose roughly four years of economic growth, or six percent GDP, compared with staying in the bloc.
They added: “Directors emphasised the importance of a timely agreement with the EU, accompanied by an implementation period to avoid a cliff-edge exit in March 2019 and to allow firms and workers time to adjust to the new relationship.”
Mrs May has to gain support of her Cabinet to move forward
3.52pm: PM to make a statement
A Downing Street official said the PM will make a statement at 5pm after the Cabinet meeting.
3.50pm: Scottish nationalists say Northern Ireland deal could lead another Scottish Independence referendum
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said it would be unfair that Northern Ireland gets any special trading deal which applies and would not apply to Scotland after Britain leaves the European Union.
She wrote on Twitter: “(May’s) approach would take Scotland out of the single market – despite our 62 percent “remain” vote – but leave us competing for investment with Northern Ireland that is effectively still in it.”
Brexiteers in Mrs May’s Conservative Party say her draft is a surrender to the EU and they will vote against the deal in parliament.
3.40pm update: UKIP Leader Gerard Battens statement over PM’s Brexit deal
Gerard Batten MEP and UKIP Leader branded the deal a “betrayal”.
He said: “We are heading for a complete betrayal of Brexit. Mrs May has put something together that is not going to satisfy Remainers or Leavers. The deal will be worse than remaining in the European Union.”
“We should stop asking the European Union how we’re going to leave, we should telling them how we’re going to leave. The real struggle to leave the EU starts today.”
3.30pm Scotland Secretary could resign over PM’s deal
The editor of PolitcisHome.com said Scotland Secretary David Mundell will resign over Mrs May’s Brexit deal.
He didn’t cite any sources.
Mr Mundell was among 13 Scottish Conservatives to sign a letter to Mrs May saying she needed to deliver “complete control” over domestic fishing waters, adding that Britain must leave the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy after December 2020.
The letter stated: “You have made welcome statements throughout the Brexit negotiations that leaving the EU will mean leaving the Common Fisheries Policy and negotiating as an independent coastal state from December 2020.
“You said in your conference speech that anything less would be a ‘betrayal of Scotland’ and we completely agree.
“This has raised expectations in the fishing industry that Brexit will lead to complete control and full sovereignty over domestic waters that we must deliver on.”
Leo Varadkar is hopeful about the Brexit deal
3.20pm update: “It’s as good as it going to get”
Lucinda Creighton, who was Ireland’s Europe minister between 2011 and 2013, said: “The Irish view will be hoping that it will make its way through Cabinet today.”
When asked if she thought it could get through the Commons she added: “I think that’s going to be very dodgy, very problematic.
“I think the expectation from Downing Street that Labour MPs would wave this through, I think, is a little naive. I think it will take a lot of ground work over the coming weeks.”
3.00pm update: Early signs from Dublin show they are satisified with the early draft of the deal
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said today: ” Many may be quite worried about what was agreed in the coming days and I want to say to them that The Good Friday Agreement will be protected and that includes the recognition of the fact we respect the territorial integrity of the United Kingdom.
2.40pm update: Tory MP warns she won’t support proposed Brexit deal
Conservative MP for Newton Abbot Anne Marie Morris said: “If the leaked information on the proposed Brexit deal is accurate, I cannot support it.
“A Northern Ireland solution which divides the UK and a non-regression clause to ensure the UK cannot out-compete the EU are completely unacceptable.
The Prime Minister is not delivering the Brexit people voted for.”
1.50pm update: Cabinet minsters arrive at Downing Street for crunch Brexit meeting
Theresa May is holding a crunch emergency meeting at Downing Street as she attemps to win the backing of her Cabinet for her draft Brext deal with Brussels.
Cabinet ministers including Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab, Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom, Home Secretary Sajid Javid, Environment Secretary Michael Gove, Chief Whip Julian Smith, International Development Secretary Michael Gove and Housing Secretary James Brokenshire have all walked into Number 10.
1.30pm update: Pro-Brexit protesters gather outside Downing Street
‘Leave Means Leave’ protesters and other pro-Brexit groups have gathered opposite Downing Street.
Harry Todd, who helps run Leave Means Leave’s national ground campaign, said: “Today’s protest comes from yesterday’s announcement that we’re giving up.
“The deal that is on the table, according to everyone who would know about these sort of things, is completely and utterly unacceptable.
“We’ve been told it’s a 500-page document and the Cabinet is only getting an hour to read it.”
1.10pm update: Macron ‘encouraged’ by deal but remains ‘prudent’
French President Emmanuel Macron is encouraged by the draft Brexit deal but remains cautious as the text still needs to be examined in detail.
Government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux was speaking after a weekly Cabinet meeting.
Reporting Mr Macron’s comments to Cabinet, he said: “It’s an encouraging sign considering what happened in the last weeks or months, but we obviously remain very prudent.
“We will take the time to examine the draft deal in detail and there will be an agreement when heads of states and governments have had the possibility to go through the draft text in detail.”
12.50pm update: EU summit will probably take place on November 25 if May’s Cabinet supports deal – Varadkar
A summit of EU leaders will probably be held on November 25 if Theresa May’s Cabinet supports the draft divorce agreement struck with Brexit negotiators, Leo Varadkar has said.
The Irish Prime Minister told Parliament: “Obviously a lot of things can go wrong today and over the next couple of days, but should the UK cabinet be in a position this afternoon to say that it is content with the text, it is proposed that the Commission taskforce would be in a position tonight perhaps to publish the text, with the possibility or probability of a European Council meeting around November 25.”
He added the text would have to be ratified by Westminster and the European Parliament and while it isn’t necessary, he would also like it to be put to a vote in the Irish Parliament.
Brexit deal latest: A smiling Dominic Raab arrives for the crunch Cabinet meeting at Number 10
12.35pm update: Ken Clarke urges May to publish a Brexit White Paper
During Prime Minister’s Questions, the Tory MP asked: “Will the Prime Minister give an assurance that if and when this deal is published, that a statement will be made to this House of Commons when it is produced?
“Because it is this Parliament which is going to have to decide now what to do next and we don’t want Parliament only to be consulted after another 24 hours of rumours and criticism – we could re-establish parliamentary sovereignty and I wish the Prime Minister well in obtaining a majority for some course of action in future which is in the national interest.”
Mrs May said she would rturn to the Commons to explain the outcome of the Cabinet meeting.
She added: “There is then the issue of when a final deal is agreed with the European Union and ensuring, as we will, that proper analysis is available to members of this House before the meaningful vote takes place and that briefings are available to members of this House on the details of the proposals.”
12.30pm update: Conservatives accused of playing ‘dirty tricks’
Mrs May says: “What we have been negotiating is a deal that has given to the British people. An end for free movement. A deal that delivers on the vote. Protects jobs and protects integrity of the vote.
But the SNP’s Ian Blackford says: “Shamefully it seems Government is seeking to prevent opposition amendments to the deal.
“Gagging the sovereignty of parliament by playing dirty tricks. Is the Government so weak the Brexit deal will not succeed with alternatives on the table?”
To which Mrs May confirms: “Parliament will vote on the deal” before Mr Blackford tells her: “I expect parliament to hold the Government to account and amend the deal. This is not a game the SNP will never gamble with Scotland’s future.”
Mrs May hits back telling Mr Blackford: “The SNP gambles with Scotland’s future every time it stands up and calls for independence.”
12.25pm update: May warned by her OWN PARTY she will lose their support
Peter Bone told the Prime Minister her Brexit deal was not the deal millions of Britons had voted for.
The prominent Tory Brexiteer warned: “Today you will lose the support of many Conservative MPs and many Tory voters across the country.”
Brexit deal latest: Jeremy Corbyn launched a furious attack during Prime Minister’s Questions
READ MORE: PMQs LIVE
12.20pm update: UK will have less say on laws and money after Brexit – Corbyn
The Labour leader said: “We are going to have less say over our laws and how our money will be spent.”
But Mrs May replied: “Neither side wants us to be in the backstop and we want to bring the future relationship up to speed by 2020.
“We dont wan’t to be in a position where the EU will keep the UK in the backstop permanently. That’s why any backstop has to be temporary.”
Mr Corbyn hit back: “I think that answer confims that parliament wont have that sovereign right.”
12.10pm update: ‘Deal is FAILURE in its OWN TERMS!’ Corbyn rages at May over Brexit
Jeremy Corbyn launched a scathing attack on Theresa May’s Brexit deal during a fiery Prime Minister’s Questions session in the Commons.
He said: “After two years of bungled negotiations, from what we know, the Government’s deal is a failure in its own terms.
“It doesn’t deliver a whole Brexit for the whole country. It breaches the Prime Minister’s own red lines, it doesn’t support a record of jobs and industry and they haven’t prepared seriously for no deal.
“So does the Prime Minister intend to put a false deal to Parliament between a botched deal or no deal?”
Mrs May hits back saying: “The honourable gentleman says we’re not making progress, not making a deal – and now we’re close to making a deal he’s not happy.”
12pm update: ‘If it were darts, it’s not missing the board, this is not even the right wall’ – Brexiteer MP Andrew Bridgen
The Tory MP told the Press Association: “It shouldn’t go through Cabinet.
“This is going to unravel pretty quickly. Public opinion is going to turn against it.
“We are going to be stuck in a backstop we can’t get out of with the European Court of Justice deciding whether we can actually leave the European Union at any time in the future.
“This isn’t Brexit, it’s not even close to Brexit.
“If it were darts, it’s not missing the board, this is not even the right wall.”
Brexit deal latest: Ian Blackford accused the Conservatives of playing “dirty tricks”
11.45am update: European Commission and Barnier could make statement on Brexit negotiations TODAY
Margaritis Schinas, the EU chief negotiator’s spokesman, said a statement might be made today but declined to confirm a draft treaty had been agreed by civil servants.
Mr Barnier’s deputy Sabine Weyand will brief EU national envoys in Brussels as Theresa May consults her Cabinet from 2pm.
According to Reuters, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator must declare “decisive progress” has been made towards an agreement so european Council President Donald Tusk can call the other 27 EU leaders to a summit that would give the bloc’s political endorsement to a treaty.
It added if Mrs May secures the backing of her Cabinet and there are no other major objections, EU diplomats are expecting Mr Barnier to decide as early as later today to recommend the summit is called.
Many are expecting this to be scheduled for November 25 in Brussels.
11.20am update: May leaves Number 10 ahead of crucial day for Brexit deal
Theresa May has left Number 10 for Prime Minister’s Questions ahead of this afternoon’s crucial meeting with her Cabinet.
The Prime Minister left via the Foreign Office, as protesters at the bottom of Downing Street were heard shouting: “No more Brexit lies!”
11.15am update: EU retaining all controls would be ‘bitter blow’ to anyone voting to ‘take back control’
Former General Atorney Dominic Grieve was commenting on a leaked diplomatic note obtained by The Times has suggested that Sabine Weyand – deputy to EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier – has told ambassadors the UK “would have to swallow a link between access to products and fisheries in future agreements”.
The Remain MP said: “Ms Weyand states ‘the EU will retain all the controls’ – a bitter blow for anyone who voted for Brexit to ‘take back control’.
“I could not look my constituents in the eye and say this would be a better deal than the one we have as a member of the EU and so I will vote against it and instead I will vote to hand the final decision back to the public.
“A choice between this miserable Brexit and no deal is no choice at all. The British public deserve a real choice between leaving the EU on these terms or sticking with the deal we’ve got inside the EU.”
11.10am update: Irish Cabinet meeting to discuss May’s proposals on Brexit
A special meeting of the Irish Cabinet is under way at Government Buildings to discuss the Brexit deal agreed between the UK and European Union.
It follows a meeting on Tuesday night between Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, deputy Simon Coveney, Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe and Minister for European Affairs Helen McEntee.
The Irish Cabinet has remained tight-lipped since the news broke of a draft text being agreed, although more details could be revealed in Prime Minister’s Questions at 1pm.
A spokesman for the Irish Government said on Tuesday night that “no agreement” had been reached on the withdrawal of the UK from the EU and “nothing had been confirmed”.
10.50am update: SNP wants Scotland to be given the “same opportunity” as NI post-Brexit
SNP leaders have repeated calls for Scotland to be given the “same opportunity” as Northern Ireland to stay in Europe’s single market after Brexit.
Nicola Surgeon warned without such an agreement being in place, Scotland would be left competing for investment with a country which has “effectively” still part of the trading bloc.
The First Minister wrote on Twitter: “PM’s approach would take Scotland out of the single market (despite our 62% remain vote) but leave us competing for investment with Northern Ireland that is effectively still in it”.
10.30am update: ALL YOUR FAULT! Merkel BLAMED for Brexit and handing Germany ‘very painful’ blow
Angela Merkel has been held responsible for Britain’s Brexit vote, which she yesterday described as a “deep wound” to the European Union, by an influential German industry leader.
The German Chancellor’s actions have been a driving force behind the Brexit vote and she has done nothing to atone for her mistakes, according to Hans-Olaf Henkel.
A former ‘voice of German industry’, Mr Henkel believes Mrs Merkel has dealt her country a “painful blow” by not doing more to keep ensure Britain remained an EU member.
He also hit out at the Chancellor for failing to use her powerful status in Brussels and influencing EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier to protect German industry.
Speaking after Mrs Merkel delivered a speech to the EU Parliament, Mr Henkel said: “If the Chancellor keeps things going as she has done so far, the future of Europe will be an EU without Britain – the loss of the global player Britain will be very painful for Germany.”
Brexit deal latest: Theresa May leaves Number 10 ahead of a crucial day
10.30am update: EU to retain ‘all controls’ over the UK – leaked note
A leaked diplomatic note obtained by The Times has suggested that Sabine Weyand – deputy to EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier – has told ambassadors the UK “would have to swallow a link between access to products and fisheries in future agreements”.
According to the note, she said: “We should be in the best negotiation position for the future relationship. This requires the customs union as the basis of the future relationship.
“They must align their rules but the EU will retain all the controls.
“They apply the same rules. UK wants a lot more from future relationship, so EU retains its leverage.”
10.15am update: Tories days are NUMBERED – IDS accuses May of ‘breaking agreed position’
Iain Duncan Smith warned the Government are in “real trouble” after Theresa May summoned her Cabinet to consider a draft following a breakthrough in Brexit negotiations.
The Brexiteer warned that if reports of the deal’s contents were true the Government was “breaking their own agreed position and will be bringing back something that is untenable”.
The former Tory party leader has blasted the handling of negotiations and said the Government have put themselves in an “impossible position”
Mr Smith said: “If the Cabinet agrees it, the party certainly won’t”.
Asked if the Government’s days were numbered he said: “If this is the case almost certainly, yes.
“Because they are in real trouble if they bring back something that is unacceptable to the party.
“The Government puts itself in an impossible position, because they are trying to promote something they themselves said they would never promote. And that makes it impossible.
“How can you ask the party to vote for something which you yourself as Prime Minister and the Cabinet said they would never ever allow?”
10am update: ‘It’s a SELL OUT!’ Brexiteer MP RAILS against Theresa May’s Brexit BETRAYAL in huge rant
Brexiteer MP Andrew Bridgen has hit out at Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit “betrayal” and warned that her Brexit deal is a “sell out” of the vote of 17.4 million Britons in the 2016 referendum.
The Tory backbencher claimed Theresa May’s Brexit deal will leave Britain tied to Brussels forever as he urged for the Prime Minister to “see sense”.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s World Tonight, Mr Bridgen said: “I hope the Cabinet will make the Prime Minister see sense. This is not going to go through Parliament.
“So, there is no point bringing that vote when it is going to fail. If it passes through the Cabinet then it will have to go through Parliament and I honestly believe all this discussion about whether the EU 27 think it is giving away too much – that is pure theatre.
“This is a sell-out and is a betrayal of the Brexit we promised the British people and I will not be voting for it.”
Brexit deal latest: Boris Johnson urged Cabinet ministers to quit in a furious tirade
9.50am update: Nick Hurd replaces Jo Johnson as Minister for London
The Home Office Minister and MP for Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner replaces Boris Johnson’s brother following his resignation from the government over Brexit last week.
A Downing Street spokeman said London Minister is a supplementary post and Mr Hurd will remain in his role at the Home Office
9.40am update: Cabinet ministers making ‘the most important decision they ever make in their whole lives’
Mark Francois, deputy chairman of the Brexiteer European Research Group, told the BBC’s Today programme there is a chance some ministers could resign, vbut would not be drawn on hw many.
He added Theresa May’s deal “is not Brexit, that is not what 17.4 million people in the country voted for”.
The Raleigh and Wickford MP said: “People around the Cabinet table, in their heart of hearts, know that.
“We and the rest of the country will be watching very carefully to see what happens at Cabinet today, but there are a number of Cabinet ministers who deep down very much oppose this.
“They will have to look into their hearts and decide whether a Jaguar and a red box and a bunch of sycophantic civil servants calling you ‘Minister’ is more important that the destiny of your country.”
9.35am update: Pound steadies as investors await outcome of Cabinet meeting
Sterling has steadied after posting its biggest jump in two weeks on Tuesday as investors await the outcome of the Cabinet meeting this afternoon.
In early trades, the British currency was flat at $ 1.2967 against the US dollar after briefly jumping more than one percent on Tuesday to $ 1.3047.
Against the euro, the oiund fared slightly better, increasing 0.1 percent to 87.02 pence as concerns about the Italian budget also weighed on the single European currency.
Fritz Loew, a currency strategist at MUFG in London, said: “The outcome of the cabinet meeting will be a barometer test on the upcoming parliamentary vote the government will face to get the deal through.”
9.20am update: Hague warns Brexiteers against rebelling May’s deal as it could bring down the Government
Former Conservative leader William Hague has warned Brexiteers if they don’t accept Theresa May’s deal, they might not get Brexit at all, because it could bring down the Government and push support for a second referendum.
He told BBC’s Today programme: “If you are those sceptics, the ardent Brexiteers, what you have to really worry about here is that if you don’t take this opportunity to leave the EU, to get Brexit over the line, you might never leave at all.
“There is that point of view represented by Jo Johnson who resigned the other day that the better alternative is to have a second referendum and that would mean of course deferring leaving next year.
“It would probably mean a different government, incidentally, and it would mean taking the next year over having another referendum that might not resolve matters but Brexit might never happen at all.”
9.10am update: Brexit deal ‘unlikely to be a good deal for the country’
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Shadow Business Secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey said: “Theresa May had a moral duty really, to deliver a Brexit that put quality of life of our communities right at its heart and based on the shambles we have seen I don’t think this has been achieved and she has let many people around the country down today.”
After being asked five times if Brexit could be stopped, she finally replied: “Of course it could, if it had the agreement of the European Union and the British people and the British Government.
“But that is a very, very hypothetical question looking into the future.
“Our position is to secure a good deal and if the Prime Minister cannot do that we want to see a general election so that Labour can take over negotiations.”
9am update: Blair launches furious attack against Corbyn – ‘GUT-WRENCHING’ Labour is not calling for a second Brexit vote
Tony Blair will launch a stinging attack against Jeremy Corbyn and his “abject refusal” to lead the UK “out of the Brexit nightmare”.
In a speech in London, the former Prime Minister will repeat his call for a second referendum because Theresa May’s proposals – “Brexit in name but tied still to Europe in reality” – will disappoint those on both sides.
He will say: “Whatever the people voted for, they didn’t vote for this,” he will say.
“I know it is said a new vote of the people will also divide. But a reconsideration in the light of all we now know, accepted by all as the final word, especially if accompanied by a new willingness on the part of Europe’s leadership and Britain’s to deal with the reasons for the Brexit decision, is the only hope of unity in the future.
“It is frankly gut-wrenching that this call is not being led by Labour as it should be.”
Brexit deal latest: Tony Blair launched a furious attack agains tJeremy Corbyn
8.45am update: ‘Northern Ireland MUST NOT be cut adrift’ – DUP’s Foster issues May warning
DUP leader Arlene Foster warned she won’t accept a Brexit deal that treats Northern Ireland differently to the rest to the UK.
Mrs Foster’s party’s 10 MPs would reject the draft text of the withdrawal agreement if it tied the province to EU rules, she said.
A draft deal agreed this week between EU leaders and the UK suggested Northern Ireland could remain aligned to Brussels regulations, Ms Foster believed.
She told Sky News: “It’s a question of whether we are separating the union, whether we are dealing with the United Kingdom in a way that leaves us adrift in the future and as the leader of unionism in Northern Ireland I’m not about to agree to that.”
8.30am update: Boris Johnson calls on Cabinet ministers to quit in furious Brexit tirade
Boris Johnson has urged Cabinet ministers to resign over Theresa May’s draft Brexit deal, urging them to “chuck it out” as it is “about as bad as it could possibly be”.
The former former foreign Secretary vowed to vote against the deal in Parliament.
He told the BBC: “For the first time in a thousand years, this place, this Parliament, will not have a say over the laws that govern this country. It is a quite incredible state of affairs.”
Mr Johnson added: “For the first time since partition, Dublin – under these proposals – would have more say in some aspects of the government of Northern Ireland than London.
“I don’t see how you can support it from a democratic point of view, I don’t see how unionists can support it, and I don’t see how you can support it if you believe in the economic and political freedom of this country.”
8.15am update: DUP warns Brexit deal ‘has the potential to lead not the break-up of the UK’
The Democratic Unionist Party DUP has has said Theresa May’s Brexit deal could lead to the break-up of the UK.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, the party’s chief whip Sir Jeffrey Donaldson warned the deal in the “long term” leave Northern Ireland closely aligned with the EU and could increase support for Scottish independence, adding: “This is not the right Brexit.”
He claimed the DUP “don’t fear a general election”.
He said: “It’s not about who is prime minister, it’s not about who governs the country, it’s about the constitutional and economic integrity of the UK, that is fundamental for us.
“And it is not just us, the DUP does not stand alone on this, we have many friends within the Conservative Party and indeed in some other parties, who believe this deal has the potential to lead to the break-up of the UK.
“That is not something we can support.”
Brexit deal latest: Nigel Farage condemned the plan as “the worst in history”
8am update: Farage brands deal ‘worst in history’ in furious attack against May
Brexiteer Nigel Farage has condemned the draft Brexit plan as “the worst deal in history” during a furious attack on Theresa May in which he said her Cabinet and Parliament could “collapse”.
He told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “We’re giving away in excess of £40 billion in return for precisely nothing.
“Trapped still inside the European Union’s rule book, continuing free movement of people, continuing with a foreign court having a say over our own country. Nothing has been achieved other than giving away a huge sum of money.”
He described Mrs May as “not just the worst prime minister I’ve ever seen but perhaps the most dishonest one as well”.
He added: “Get rid of her. Let’s get somebody else, let’s come back to the EU and say ‘look, let’s have a simple free trade deal or we are leaving on WTO (World Trade Organisation) terms’. And do you know what? They’ll bite our arms off.”
When asked what he thought would happen next, Mr Farage said: “I believe that the Cabinet will collapse, I believe that Parliament will collapse.
“I think we have a career political class who will put their own reselection within their parties above the interests of the nation and our democratic system.”
7.45am update: May faces wrath of Brexiteers
The mammoth political battle for Mrs May begun immediately after news of the agreement with Brussels was revealed, with furious Eurosceptic Tories raging the package will leave Britain tied to Brussels forever.
Last night former foreign secretary Boris Johnson said: “For the first time in a thousand years, this place, this Parliament, will not have a say over the laws that govern this country. It is a quite incredible state of affairs.”
And senior Tory Jacob Rees-Mogg added: “White flags have gone up all over Whitehall. It is a betrayal of the Union.”
He said that if leaks about the deal were correct the “Cabinet should reject it”.
The MP added: “They should vote it down, they should make it clear that the Cabinet will not support it.
“It is harder to leave the customs union under the proposed backstop than it is currently so we go from being a vassal to being a slave.”