The European Council president said the Prime Minister’s withdrawal agreement is “the only possible” deal for the UK. Mrs May is desperately scrambling to win round MPs ahead of a crucial vote on her exit deal on December 11, though there are major doubts over whether she will secure the support needed. Some Brexiteers and the Democratic Unionist Party have vowed to vote against the divorce deal unless the terms are changed.
But Mr Tusk said today that Brussels has no intention of restarting talks.
He said: “The European Union has just agreed an orderly divorce with the United Kingdom.
“A few days before the vote in the House of Commons, it is becoming more and more clear that this deal is the best possible, in fact the only possible one.
“If this deal is rejected in the Commons, we are left with an alternative: no deal or no Brexit at all.
“I want to reassure you that the EU is prepared for every scenario.”
Donald Tusk said Britain can either take Mrs May’s deal, leave with no deal or don’t leave at all
His remarks come as Mrs May Mrs May refused to rule out a second Commons vote on her Brexit deal if MPs reject it first time round.
She said she thought she could win the crunch vote next month despite dozens of Tory MPs indicating they will oppose the deal.
Parliamentary rules forbid the Prime Minister from asking MPs the same question twice so she would have to change the contents of her deal to secure a second bite of the cherry.
But convention also says the Speaker could decide to allow MPs to vote again if enough of them indicate they have changed their minds after the initial vote.
Follow all of today’s latest Brexit news with Express.co.uk’s live blog below:
John McDonnell said Remain should be an option in any second Brexit referendum
7.40pm: Stephen Fry attacks Brexiteers Jacob Rees-Mogg and Boris Johnson in new video
Stephen Fry has used a new video to slam Brexit campaigners, the saying the Leave campaign was built on deception, racism and baseless fear.
The actor and comedian suggests Britons were fooled by Nazi-like media reports that labelled immigrants as job-stealing “cockroaches”, and headlines that incited hatred.
He says Brexiteers claimed to be fighting the establishment, a message that resonated with Britons who had suffered wage stagnation while “the rich had grown richer”.
And he hit out at prominent Leave supporters for branding warnings from experts as ‘Project Fear’.
The video ends with a call for a people’s vote on the Brexit deal.
Calling for a second referendum, Stephen Fry said the Brexit campaign was built on baseless fear
5.30pm: Roadmap to Brexit
The House of Commons has released an infographic laying out the next steps in the Brexit and listing four possible outcomes from the process.
1. MPs vote through the Government’s soft Brexit deal, the Bill receives Royal Assent, and the UK leaves on the terms negotiated by Mrs May.
2. MPs approve Mrs May’s deal but the Bill does not receive Royal Assent before Brexit day – currently scheduled for March 29, 2019.
In this case, the UK would leave the EU without a deal.
3. MPs reject the PM’s deal, the Government makes a statement to the Commons on how it plans to proceed, then MPs approve whatever Downing Street’s new plan is and ministers embark on that new course.
The new course could theoretically be a second Commons vote on Mrs May’s deal, a second referendum, or leaving with no deal.
4. MPs vote down Mrs May’s deal, the Government advises the Commons on its next steps, but MPs reject that plan as well. This eventuality would see the UK leave without a deal on March 29.
5.10pm: Labour MP urges party to back May’s deal
Labour should “think carefully” before voting against Theresa May’s Brexit on December 11, Ian Austin has declared.
The MP for Dudley North said while it is not perfect, the Prime Minister’s terms do in fact satisfy “most, if not all” of Labour’s six tests for any Brexit deal.
Writing in The Guardian, he warned a large number of Labour constituencies backed Leave in the 2016 referendum and the party’s manifesto in the 2017 general election that followed pledged to honour the result of that vote.
He said: “[Theresa May’s deal] is clearly not a perfect deal, but there was never going to be a perfect deal.
“My constituents voted to leave. They expect us to sort this out and we in the Labour party need to think carefully before rejecting it.”
4.20pm: SNP demands to be included in TV Brexit debate
The Scottish National Party (SNP) has written to the BBC demanding to know why it has not been invited to take part in the broadcaster’s planned TV debate on Brexit.
SNP deputy leader Keith Brown warned televising a debate involving just Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn would be a “severe dereliction” of the broadcaster’s public responsibility.
He questioned why Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon had not been included in the programme.
And he said the proposed format would “not suitably represent either the support for Remain across the whole of the UK” or the growing support for a second referendum with the option of staying in the EU.
3.25pm: Shadow chancellor says second referendum should include REMAIN option
John McDonnell has said any rerun of the 2016 referendum should give voters the option of calling off Brexit and remaining in the EU.
Speaking on TalkRADIO this afternoon, the Labour frontbencher was quizzed on what should be on the ballot paper if Theresa May’s deal is rejected by MPs in the Commons and a second referendum is called.
He said: “The ballot paper will be determined by Parliament. It’s difficult to see Parliament deciding if there is to be a choice that they wouldn’t have at least some sort of Remain option on there.
“But it will be determined by Parliament if we get to that state.”
3.10pm: Brexit deal ‘will make Northern Ireland more attractive for foreign investment’
Northern Ireland will be in an “unrivalled” position to attract overseas investment if MPs back Mrs May’s Brexit deal, Northern Ireland secretary Karen Bradley says.
She said: “We will be able to strike free trade deals around the world and let me just put this in context for Northern Ireland.
“Northern Ireland with a land border to the EU and trade with the EU but being able to access free trade deals around the world puts Northern Ireland in an unrivalled position in the world as a destination for foreign direct investment and that is what I want to see for Northern Ireland.”
But she warned Britain would “go back to square one” if MPs reject Mrs May’s deal.
She added: “That would mean in particular for Northern Ireland damaging uncertainty, threatening jobs, investment in the economy, more division and less time to focus on issues that matter at home like the NHS, our schools, our infrastructure, the things that matter, the things that you raise with me, the things that matter to small and medium sized businesses across Northern Ireland.”
Ms Bradley made the remarks during visits to the towns of Newtownards and Bangor in County Down as she attempts to sell Mrs May’s Brexit deal to voters in Northern Ireland.
Harvey Gavin taking over from Simon Osborne on live reporting.
Theresa May arrives in Buenos Aires for the G20 summit
1.15pm update: May accuses Labour of “betraying” British public
Theresa May has accused Labour of planning a “betrayal of the British people” by voting against her Brexit deal and pushing the country towards a no-deal divorce from the EU.
The Prime Minister is urging all MPs – including 100 or more Tories who have said they may rebel – to vote “in the national interest” and back a deal which she said would deliver Brexit while protecting jobs.
Mrs May, who is attending the G20 summit in Argentia, said: “I’ve got a plan, I’ve got a proposal, I’ve got the deal that I’ve negotiated.
“We don’t see any alternative coming forward from the Labour Party. I think people need to be aware of that.
“Instead, what I see from Labour is an attempt to frustrate what the Government is doing to deliver Brexit for the British people. That is actually a betrayal of the British people.”
12.59pm update: MPs launch bid to block no-deal Brexit
A powerful group of MPs have launched an official bid to block a no-deal Brexit and seize the initiative from Theresa May.
The cross-party group fear Britain will face a chaotic departure from the EU next March if the Prime Minister’s 611-page Brexit deal is rejected in the Commons on December 11.
So they are backing an amendment which would block her hugely unpopular draft withdrawal agreement but at the same time rule out the possibility of a no-deal divorce.
The amendment, tabled by Labour backbencher and Brexit select committee chairman Hilary Benn, will not be binding but Mrs May would find it difficult to ignore.
Up to six amendments will be voted on when MPs pass judgement on the Brexit deal.
Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer said it was a “great amendment” and lent his “full support”.
12.39pm update: Fox denies “selling out” former Cabinet colleagues
Liam Fox has denied “selling out” fellow Brexiteers by remaining in Theresa May’s Cabinet while ministers such as Boris Johnson, Dominic Raab, David Davis and Esther McVey resigned over Government’s Brexit policy.
Dr Fox was asked: “Isn’t the biggest deal that you’ve done is to sell out your fellow Brexiteers?”
The International Trade Secretary replied: “I am not surprised at the question.
“No, I think that those that you mentioned, they made their own decisions but they no longer have a seat at the Cabinet table for crucial discussions that will come in the near future.
“I want to make sure above all else that we actually leave the European Union on March 29.
“The worse thing that could happen is that in a Parliament which has a majority of Remainers is that Brexit gets stolen from the people of the United Kingdom.
“They made the decision in a referendum and they deserve to have it honoured.”
Hilary Benn has tabled an amendment blocking a no-deal Brexit
11.33am update: Government has no plans to “cancel Christmas” if Brexit vote defeated
Theresa May has no plans to recall Parliament over the Christmas period to push through legislation on leaving the European Union, according to her official spokeswoman.
Asked about media reports the Government could curtail MPs’ Christmas break if they reject Mrs May’s Brexit plan on December 11, the spokeswoman said: “We are focused on winning the vote.”
11.02am update: Farage vows to boycott People’s Vote
Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage said he would boycott a second EU referendum if it only allowed people to vote between remaining in the EU and Theresa May’s Brexit deal.
Mr Farage said the People’s Vote movement appeared to be “gaining momentum” within the Labour Party which had previously ruled out a re-run of the 2016 ballot.
Speaking on his LBC radio show, Mr Farage said: “What would the question be? Nobody has satisfactorily managed to answer that.
“Some even suggest it should be this deal or remain, in which case, I’d simply have to boycott the second referendum because I wouldn’t be given the choice that I want.”
10.44am update: Fox’s record on international trade under the spotlight
Welsh Labour MP Jo Stevens has questioned Liam Fox’s record as International Trade Secretary after he lashed out at critics of Theresa May.
In a statement issued by the pro-remain Best for Britain campaign Ms Stevens said: “For the past two years, Liam Fox has promised Brexit would be Britain’s ticket to the land of milk and honey.
“But he’s not secured a single trade deal and is now urging the public to support a deal even he says he’s not enthusiastic about.
“Enough is enough. Two Brexit Secretaries who negotiated for us have resigned and don’t back the deal and now the trade secretary isn’t happy with it either.
“This is a bad deal and the people deserve a final say on it with the option to retain our membership of the EU.”
Liam Fox said the mood in Britain is changing
9.48am update: People’s Vote complain about live Brexit debate format
The People’s Vote campaign has formally complained to the BBC and Ofcom over plans to broadcast a live Brexit debate featuring Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn but without a supporter of a second referendum.
The two leaders have agreed to the debate but there is disagreement between the two political parties over whether the BBC or ITV should host the discussion.
A campaign spokeswoman said: “The People’s Vote campaign has written to the BBC and Ofcom following about media reports it is proceeding with a plan to go ahead with a debate between Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn with other points of view confined to a sideshow.
“Such a debate format risks damaging the BBC’s deserved reputation for fairness and impartiality and any decision that excludes the voice of millions of people supporting our position – or confines it to the margins of the debate – does not serve the interests of our democracy.”
The BBC’s proposal, which is backed by Downing Street, would see the politicians go head-to-head in Birmingham next Sunday with some questions put to them by a panel of prominent figures from all sides of the Brexit debate.
9.06 update: Fox hails May for changing public mood on Brexit deal
International trade secretary Liam Fox insists Theresa May has been effective in getting the public to back her Brexit withdrawal agreement.
MPs have a “meaningful vote” on the deal on December 11 and the odds look stacked against her getting it through a deeply divided Commons.
But Mr Fox said they should weigh up Mrs May’s deal against the alternatives.
He said: ”The Prime Minister has been changing the public mood, if you look at what’s been happening in polling there’s clearly a shift there.
“Members of parliament need to make their own decisions for themselves but they have to compare this particular deal against the alternatives.”
Asked about the prospect of a no-deal Brexit, he said: “It wouldn’t be a disaster but it wouldn’t be a walk in the park either.”
8.50am: Corbyn “gradually moving” towards a second EU referendum
Former foreign secretary Jack Straw has hinted Jeremy Corbyn is “gradually moving” towards a second EU referendum.
Mr Straw pointed to comments by shadow chancellor John McDonnell earlier this week, who suggested another vote is “inevitable” if Theresa May’s Brexit deal is blocked by Parliament.
And Mr Straw highlighted a proposed amendment to the draft Withdrawal Agreement, submitted by a cross-party group of Remain-backing MPs last night, but with Labour support, as a step towards that.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “Hilary Benn’s proposal to ensure that there can’t be no deal, that is a staging post to having a second referendum.”
And the ex-Cabinet minister dismissed the suggestion this would be a “denial of the democratic rights” of the 17.4 million people who voted for Brexit.
Mr Straw was speaking after he wrote an article with two other former foreign secretaries, David Miliband and Dame Margaret Beckett, who argued Britain’s position of influence in the world will be diminished by Brexit, and urging for a second referendum.
Jeremy Corbyn is said to be moving towards a second Brexit referendum
8.22am update: Rees-Mogg accuses May of trying to frighten people into backing deal
Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg has accused Theresa May and her supporters of trying to “frighten and to gull people into acquiescing to a non-Brexit Brexit”.
Writing in the Daily Telegraph, the Conservative MP for North East Somerset said: “The Withdrawal Agreement contradicts its previous and clear policies, while its spokesmen insist that the reverse is true.
“In the 2017 manifesto, the Conservatives said that the country would leave the single market and the customs union.
“The backstop and the proposed treaty keep the whole of the UK in the customs union, which allows the EU to set tax rates, with Northern Ireland in the single market too.
“There was no footnote listing these exceptions. The promises were clear and have been broken.”
Jacob Rees-Mogg has rejected Theresa May’s ‘non-Brexit Brexit’
8am update: Fox takes swipe at Tory rebels
Liam Fox will take a swipe at Tory opponents of Theresa May’s Brexit deal on Friday, accusing them of not facing up to the fact she has had to make tough choices.
The International Trade Secretary will visit the South West as he becomes the latest Cabinet minister to come out to bat for the Prime Minister ahead of the meaningful vote on December 11.
His intervention will come as Theresa May urged MPs to back her Brexit plan to avoid “division and uncertainty”, warning: “A divided country is not a country that prospers.”