Despite the increasing threat of the deal being rejected in the British Parliament, Mr Varadkar still expects MPs to “sooner or later” support the Brexit agreement between the UK and EU. Up to 80 conservative MP’s are expected to vote against the government. The DUP, SNP and Labour have also stated they plan to vote against the deal on December 11. But in a huge show of support to the British Prime Minister, Mr Varadkar warned Sinn Féin should consider resigning ahead of the vote in the House of Commons if they cannot take up their seats because of their abstention policy.
He said: “Sinn Féin is an unusual party in that it is not taking up its seats in Westminster for one reason and it isn’t taking up its seats in Stormont for another.
“Generally people who get involved in politics get involved because they want to make a difference and use the democratic process to get good outcomes for citizens.
“If they are not willing to take up their seats because they feel they can’t, because they got elected on the basis of abstentionism, they do have the option now of resigning their seats and allowing the people in those constituencies decide whether or not they want to have a say when this vote comes to Westminster.”
Mr Varadkar also said the Brexit deal agreed between the UK and EU at the weekend was the “best deal that was available to the United Kingdom”.
Brexit news: Varadkar has issued a huge Brexit rallying call
But he said whether or not they accept it “is a decision for the British parliament”.
Sinn Fein president Mary Lou McDonald, in Belfast on Tuesday to meet the Prime Minister, rejected the notion as “politically illiterate”.
Ms McDonald said: ”Ireland won’t be protected at Westminster.
“Any notion that Sinn Fein MPs could ride in on their chargers and stop Brexit or save Mrs May are politically fanciful – I would go so far as to say politically illiterate.”
She added: ”We are abstentionists, we are Irish republicans, we believe as the nationalist people of this island believe, that our decisions are best taken here in our democratic institutions on this island.”
Theresa may speaking during a visit to Queen’s University in Belfast
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11.00pm update: Government to outline economic forecasts for Brexit tomorrow
The Government is to set out its analysis of the economic impact of Brexit as Theresa May battles to save her deal for leaving the European Union.
Downing Street said the papers will cover a “range of scenarios” as the Prime Minister seeks to press her case the agreement represents the only way to protect jobs and investment while avoiding the chaos of a no-deal Brexit.
9.45pm update: May to visit Scotland tomorrow on the next leg of her Brexit tour
Theresa May will take her Brexit campaign to Scotland tomorrow where she will visit a factory in Glasgow.
The Prime Minister will say: “It is a deal that is good for Scottish employers and which will protect jobs.”
Nicola Sturgeon already confirmed the SNP will vote against against the deal calling it “blindfold Brexit”
She said: “The withdrawal agreement has lots of flaws within it, and fundamentally, there is no clarity whatsoever about the future between the UK and the EU.
“The House of Commons is going to be asked to effectively endorse a ‘blindfold Brexit’, where all the difficult issues that have dogged these negotiations for two-and-a-half years are simply kicked further down the road.
“I think it would be a mistake and deeply irresponsible for the House of Commons to endorse that.”
8.30pm update: Labour MP demands Theresa May ’Resign and leave in disgrace’ once MP’s vote down deal.
David Lammy has called for the Prime Minster to resign or call another election or even another referendum if Parliament reject her Brexit deal.
The remainer is convinced the House of Commons will not support her withdrawal agreement when MP’s vote on December 11.
The labour MP for Tottenham wrote on Twitter: “May has two choices on the 12th of December, the day after her deal is voted down.
“Resign and leave in disgrace or stay and put it to the people in an election or a referendum on her deal.”
8.00pm update: ‘Support Brexit deal or RESIGN!’
Leo Varadkar has issued a huge Brexit rallying call and demanded Sinn Féin support Theresa May’s deal or resign their seats in Westminster ahead of a crunch week for the British Prime Minister.
Mrs May faces her biggest hurdle yet on December 11 with a huge uphill battle to get her deal passed through Parliament amid numerous protests from all sides it doesn’t represent what the British people voted for during the EU referendum in June 2016.
But in a huge show of support to the British Prime Minister, Mr Varadkar warned Sinn Féin should consider resigning ahead of the vote in the House of Commons if they cannot take up their seats because of their abstention policy.
Home Secretary Sajid Javid doubts whether white paper of immigration policy will be ready in time
7.00pm update: Javid casts doubt over whether future immigration plans will be ready before Brexit vote
Sajid Javid has thrown serious doubt over whether the government’s future immigration plans will be published before MP’s vote on the Brexit deal.
The Home Secretary told the Commons Home Affairs Committee he “hoped” the white paper outlining the proposals would be available to parliament before December 11.
Mr Javid said: “The vote is on the 11th. I hope it will come before that. But I’m not in a position to be too specific on the date right now.”
He added: “Whether we have a successful deal with the European Union, or whether we leave with no deal, we are still going to have a new immigration system and the white paper will talk to that new immigration system.
“Whatever happens, whether the meaningful vote passes, whether the meaningful vote does not pass, the paper will still inform us and is still very valuable.”
Mr Javid added it was a “unique opportunity” to create a new approach and revealed details of a “skills-based system”.
He said: “It will be a skills-based system. Rather than looking at nationality, it will be focused on the skills that individual has to offer.
“It will be focused on high skill, rather than low skill. For those high-skilled people there will be a salary threshold.”
6.10pm update: Ulster Unionist leader calls to extend Article 50
Ulster Unionist leader has urged an extension of Article 50 to give the Government more time to strike a better deal.
Robin Swann said: “Take the time, put plans in place to allow for the extension of Article 50, to allow further negotiation so we can get a deal that actually works, because one thing that we don’t want, that we realise doesn’t work for Northern Ireland, is no deal.”
He added: “This is the first time the Prime Minister has been to Northern Ireland since the Withdrawal Agreement was published and her Government and she has said that this will affect Northern Ireland the most as an integral part of the Untied Kingdom.
“So let’s take time. Once she has heard the concerns from all of the Northern Ireland let’s see how we can take it to the next step.”
5.15pm update: Japanese PM ‘welcomes’ Brexit deal.
The Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe has “welcomed” the news that Theresa May has secured a Brexit deal with the EU.
A number 10 spokesman said: “This morning the Prime Minister spoke to Prime Minister Shinzō Abe of Japan.
“The leaders discussed the importance of free trade… PM Abe welcomed the progress the Prime Minister has made to secure an agreement with the EU.”
He is expected to visit Britain early next year as Britain looks to strike trade deals with the rest of the world.
4.30pm update: May confirms ‘confidence and supply’ agreement with DUP is to ‘continue’
Theresa May has re-affirmed the ”confidence and supply” voting agreement with Northern Ireland’s DUP will “continue”.
The Prime Minister is reliant the party which props up her government for votes in the House of Commons.
Mrs May said “The confidence and supply agreement continues. We are obviously looking ahead to the December 11 vote.”
She added: “I will be talking to my DUP colleagues in the House of Commons about the importance of this vote for the UK, the future of the UK, the future of jobs for their constituents, for the future security of their constituents.”
4.10pm update: PM says her deal “protects jobs” after addressing business leaders in Northern Ireland
Theresa May has met pro-deal business leaders at Queen’s University Belfast during her visit to Northern Ireland.
Mrs May urged all MPs to support her agreement with Europe when they vote on it on December 11, and said they needed to act in the national interest.
She said: ”We need to do it in a way that protects jobs and protects our good access to the EU markets.”
3.50pm No-deal Brexit will be ‘difficult’ for NHS according to the health secretary
The health secretary has warned the dangers a no-deal Brexit will have on the NHS.
Matt Hancock told the Commons health committee its will be “difficult” for the health service if the scenario happened – which is increasingly likely if parliament reject Theresa May’s current deal with the EU.
Mr Hancock said: “A no deal scenario for the NHS will be difficult.
“But if everyone does everything they are required to do we will have an unhindered supply of medicines.”
3.20pm update: Boris demands Theresa May debates with someone who ‘believes in Brexit’ not Jeremy Corbyn
Boris Johnson has challenged Theresa May to hold a televised debate with “someone who believes in Brexit”, saying there was “no point” in a head-to-head with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
The former foreign secretary is a fierce critic of Mrs May’s Brexit deal stated they would be offering a “false choice” because neither of their plans deliver “Brexit”.
Mr Johnson wrote on Twitter: “Debates are great for democracy – but rather than widening discourse, this debate is narrowing it by offering a false choice between May’s failing deal and Corbyn’s vague proposals – neither of which are Brexit.
“There is no point having a debate with two people who voted Remain & deals that don’t take back control.
“Any debate must involve someone who believes in Brexit and the British people being fully in control of their laws, rather than giving back control to the EU like the PM’s deal.”
2.30pm update: Nicola Sturgeon says ‘no trade deal at all’ can be agreed on Brexit
Ms Sturgeon was speaking at Bute House in Edinburgh, claiming that a “no-deal Brexit has simply been postponed”.
The Scottish first minister said: “A trade deal, rememeber, would have to be ratified by all 27 EU countries – and of course, the Prime Minister is trying to cover all of this up.
Since agreeing on this deal she has fallen back on the hardline, discredited rhetoric of the Vote Leave campaign, and the desperation that she is even now recyling the Vote Leave infamous claim that leaving the EU will mean more money for the Natioanl Health Services (NHS).
None of this, or course, is true. A smaller economy, means less, not more, money for our NHS. And our economy will be smaller than compared with staying in the EU.
To try and win over critics, Mrs May is trying to emphasise an end to free movement, an end to the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justic and an end to significant contributions to the EU budget.
Those conditions rule out everything but a free trade agreement. “
David Lidington says Brexit will be good for Scottish business as Mrs May begins tour to sell plan
2.15pm update: Health secretary says a vote for Brexit deal will ensure “medical supplies don’t run out”
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has told the Commons that Mps should vote for Mrs May’s deal in order to ensure medical supplies do not run out, claiming that “voting for the deal is the best way to ensure unhindered supply of medicines”, in response to health questions.
He reportedly told the Prime Minister and her Cabinet that he “could not guarantee people would not die” if the UK ended up with a no-deal Brexit as it would disrupt access to medical supplies.
In the Commons, Labour MP Adrian Bailey (West Bromwich West) asked Mr Hancock to outline his plans for making sure patients could get medicine or if stockpiles would run out.
He said: “In the event of a no deal, what steps would be taken to secure the supply of medicines beyond the six-week stockpile that has been recommended by the Government to drug companies?”
Mr Hancock could not confirm plans were firmly in place, suggesting they were still being worked up.
Mr Hancock said: ”Whilst voting for the deal is the best way to ensure unhindered supply of medicines and medical devices, as a responsible Government we’re also planning for the unlikely event of a no deal.
“That planning includes ensuring we can continue to get access unhindered after the six weeks for which we’re making sure the supplies are available.”
The OFOCsay they want a fair discussion on the effects of Brexit for young people
2.00pm update: Young activists continue to demand People’s Vote ahead of Mrs May parliamentary showdown
More than 150 young protesters have descended on the Houses of Parliament to call for a people’s vote on Brexit.
The demonstration, organised by youth movement Our Future, Our Choice (OFOC), was aimed at making the Government hear about the ways Brexit could hurt young people.
Nat Shaughnessy, 22, a University College London student and OFOC organiser, said: “It’s not about reversing the result of the first referendum. It’s about having a reasonable debate on the benefits of EU membership.
“We feel like young people should be at the front of that, given we have to live with it the longest.”
“The best possible Brexit scenario is going to cost us about £20,000 in lost income by 2050,” he said.
“But on top of that it’s more about the direction in which the country is going. A lot of us feel European and identify as European.
“We have the right currently to live, work and study in 28 other countries. That European citizenship, which we value and has been part of our lives for so long, is going to be taken away from us.”
1.45pm update: Theresa May agreement WILL be better for economy than no-deal says research
The Prime Minister’s Brexit deal will be better for the UK economy than leaving the European Union (EU) empty-handed, a new report has found.
Under the event of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit, the UK economy could be as much as 8.7 percent smaller in just 10 year’s time than it would be if Britain remained part of the EU.
If the UK leaves the EU under the terms of Mrs May’s withdrawal deal, the hit to GDP could be 5.5 percent, according to research by the London School of Economics Centre for Economic Performance, King’s College London and the Institute for Fiscal Studies.
The report highlighted the potential damage to the economy under both scenarios over the period to 2030, compared to if the UK continued EU membership.
It showed a clear favour for Britain leaving the EU with a deal signed off as the authors warned of the financial disruption of cutting ties with no agreement.
READ MORE: Leaving EU with Theresa May agreement WILL be better for economy than no-deal
Brexit news: Mrs May insisted Brexit would not damage UK-US trade relations
1.45pm update: Theresa May insists UK will be able to do trade deal with US after Brexit despite Trump’s claims
Speaking in a recorded interview for Sky News from Powys, Wales, Mrs May insisted the UK would still be able to trade with the US post Brexit.
She said Brexit would strengthen the Uk’s position to do r=trade throughout the world through an “independent trade policy” – and that the UK would have the power to decide “for ourselves”.
If you look at the political declaration which sets out the future framework for our relationship with the European Union, it clearly identifies that we will have an independent trade policy and we will be able to do trade deals, to negotiate trade deals, with countries around the rest of the world.
And, as regards the United States, we’ve already been talking to them about the sort of agreement we could have with them in the future. We’ve got a working group set up which is working very well, has met several times, [and we’re] continuing to work with the US on this …
“We will have that ability, outside the European Union, to make those decisions on trade deals for ourselves.
“It will no longer be a decision being taken by Brussels. We will have control of that and we will strike trade deals that will enhance our prosperity, enhance our economy and bring jobs to the UK.”
Brexit news: Mrs Foster said theresa May had ‘given up’ ahead of her Northern Ireland visit today
1.20pm update: DUP leader Arlene Foster claims Mrs May has ‘given up’ on trying to get good deal
Speaking to the BBC Mrs Foster said the Prime Minister had given up on a good Brexit deal.
In her interview, Mrs Foster said: “I think the disappointing thing for me is the prime has given up when she’s saying: ‘This is where we are and we just have to accept that.’
“She may have given up on further negotiations and trying to find a better deal, but I haven’t given up. I believe in a better way forward and I believe we must find it.”
But the Prime Minister rejected the claims from Mrs Foster and said while taking a tour stop in Powys, Wales: ”We have been resisting many of the things the European Union had wanted to put,”
“When you negotiate, neither side gets 100% of what they want, it is about compromising but you have to be clear about what your vital interests are, and we have protected those vital interests and that includes protecting the interests of the people of Northern Ireland.”
READ MORE: What is a Brexit backstop? Why is it so important for Theresa May?
Brexit news: A think tank has argued it was austerity, not migration that made Brexit inevitable
1.15pm update: Think tank says it wasn’t migration, it was austerity that led to Brexit vote.
The Social Market Foundation (SMF) think tank, in conjunction with Cage at Warwick University, is holding a policy briefing about the real cause of Brexit and whether the UK’s decision to leave the EU bloc was inevitable.
Associate professor of Economics at Warwick, Thiemo Fetzet, argue that Brexit was not a response to rising migration numbers, but a direct cause of austerity measures in the UK.
It is a global backlash against Globalisation, said Mr Fetzet.
He said there was not enough evidence that the vote was swung by fears over immigrations pressures and said that the notion was misleading.
“Brexit happened in the context following the financial crisis. Should the UK taxpayer be funding Sovereign bailouts? It was a simplistic view that was put to people.
“Populists tend to make good use of social media technology – but there is concerns that social media itself lacks screening and quality checks and has the potential to be hijacked by powers.”
Mrs May says the UK will have the power to trade with the rest of the world when it leaves the EU
1.00pm: May comments on Trump attack on UK-US future trade and says UK will be in a strong position for global trade
Prime Minister Theresa May has been asked whether US President Donald Trump’s comments about an Atlantic trade deal had dampened Brexit.
Speaking in Wales during a stop over to promote her Brexit deal, Mrs May said: ”If you look at the political declaration that sets out the future framework for our relationship with the European Union, it clearly identifies we will have an independent trade policy and we will be able to negotiate trade deals with countries around the rest of the world.
“As regards the United States, we have already been talking to them about the sort of agreement that we could have in the future.
“We have a working group set up and that is working very well, has met several times and is continuing to work with the US on this. We are talking with others around the rest of the world about the possibility of trade deals there as well.
“For example, with a number of Asian countries I met at the EU Summit in Brussels a few weeks ago, talking about the real enthusiasm of trade deals with the UK.
“We will have that ability outside the European Union, to make those decisions on trade deals for ourselves.
“It will no longer be a decision taken by Brussels. We will have control of that and we will strike trade deals that will enhance our prosperity, enhance our economy and bring jobs to the UK.”
brexit news: mr Sánchez begged Spain’s King for help in the Brexit crisis over Gibraltar
12.45pm update: Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez begged Spain’s King for help in the Brexit crisis over Gibraltar.
King Felipe reportedly held emergency talks with European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker as Spain threatened to vote against the Withdrawal Agreement at an EU leaders’ summit on Sunday.
Spain had demanded assurances that talks over Gibraltar’s inclusion in any future trade arrangement would be held bilaterally between the UK and Madrid.
According to Spanish news website El Confidential Digital, the King and Mr Juncker held “fundamental” talks during 48 hours of crunch discussions ahead of Sunday’s summit.
It came after Mr Juncker cancelled a two-day trip to the Canary Islands for an EU conference the King was attending.
Mr Juncker axed the visit to deal with “the many important events taking place at the moment” as Spain threatened to snub the EU summit.
Mr Sanchez is then said to have contacted Spain’s royal palace to urge King Felipe to intervene with Brussels.
READ MORE: ROYAL INTERVENTION: King of Spain and EU’s Juncker ‘held talks over Brexit Gibraltar row’
Lord Hague said Theresa May is still the best leader for the Conservative party
12.30pm update: William Hague warns MPs Britain faces a “shambles” if they vote down Theresa May’s Brexit deal
Lord Hague fears failing to back the Prime Minister could hand Jeremy Corbyn the keys to Number 10.
The Tory peer admitted he didn’t regard the 585-page Withdrawal Agreement Mrs May thrashed out with the EU “as the perfect deal”.
But, listing eight reasons why MP should back the deal, Lord Hague warned the British electorate has not “understood how bad things might get”.
Mr Hague said: “I don’t know what will follow a decisive rejection of the deal.
“It could be a constitutional shambles, a second referendum shambles, a no-deal exit shambles or a Corbyn government shambles.
“I just know that it will be an abysmal shambles whatever would happen next.”
Regaining control of Britain’s borders and taking back lawmaking powers from Brussels were the most important reasons to back the deal, he said.
Fears of concessions to EU rules on manufactured product and being “trapped in a never-ending backstop” were also misplaced, Lord Hague argued.
And despite Jacob Rees-Mogg’s failed coup to topple Mrs May, Lord Hague was adamant she remained the most capable person to lead the Conservative Party.
Brexit news: Mrs May arrives in Wales to promote her Brexit deal to Welsh farmers
12.00pm update: Ministers claim MPs may ‘not be shown full legal advice’ on Brexit deal
In the House of Lords, in response to a written questuon from Lord Myners asking when the Government plans to publish the legal advice from the attorney general about the backstop plan, Lord Keen said it will publish a “a full, reasoned position statement”
The response, in full, read: “The government recognises the legitimate desire in parliament, from members on all sides and in both Houses, to understand the legal implications of the final withdrawal agreement.
“The government will therefore make available to all members of parliament a full, reasoned position statement, setting out the government’s agreed legal position on the agreement, including the Irish backstop proposals.
“The attorney will also make a statement to the House of Commons and take questions. This will help to ensure parliament has all appropriate information ahead of the vote on the final deal. We expect the attorney general’s statement to be repeated in the Lords, with questions.”
But Labour has accused the government of defying the will of Commons by not releasing the full Brexit legal advice.
Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer wrote to de facto deputy David Lidington, saying the government must publish the full legal advice on the Brexit deal.
A part of the letter reads: “At this crucial stage parliament must be given the necessary information to know precisely what has been agreed to and what it is being asked for vote on. Labour and parliament will accept nothing short of the full legal advice presented to cabinet.
“A legal summary is clearly not sufficient and will not comply with the unanimous decision made by the House of Commons.”
11.40pm: Pets at Home stockpiling pet food and products in case of ‘no-deal Brexit
Pets at Home says it will begin to stockpile pet food and products worth millions of pounds ahead of Brexit.
The company also announced 30 vet practices ain the UK re set for possible closure.
The group warned 17% of its goods come from outside the UK – and confirmed its stock supply could be disrupted in the event of delays at ports and borders under a no-deal Brexit.
Mr Pritchard said: “We don’t want families to run out of food for their pets.”
Speaking of the wider implications for business post Brexit, Mr Pritchard said: “The most important thing is that business needs clarity. We can cope as long as we know what (the deal) is. We just want clarity and certainty.”
Brexit news: Mrs May will highlight how foods such as Welsh lamb will be protected in her agreement
11.20am update: Theresa May arrives in Wales as part of Brexit sell tour
The Prime Minister has arrived in Wales for the first stop of her tour to sell her Brexit agreement to the public and businesses.
Mrs May met with farmers at the Royal Welsh Winter Fair at the Royal Welsh Showground in Builth Wells, Powys.
The Prime Minister is looking to highlight how products and foods such as Welsh lamb and Caerphilly cheese wil be protected under the terms of her withdrawal agreement.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for Mrs May said a Government economic analysis of the range of scenarios post-Brexit will be published on Wednesday afternoon.
Mrs May’s spokesman also said the government would not be revoking the Article 50 notice which triggered the process of leaving the bloc, despite the challenge in the ECJ in Luxembourg.
The spokesman said: “As a matter of firm policy, we will not revoke Article 50. The British people voted to leave the European Union and we must respect both the result of the referendum and the democratic process which delivered this result.”
Brexit news: Lord Heseltine said Brexit debate “will go on forever”
11.10am update: Lord Heseltine ‘welcomes’ Donald Trump remarks on UK-US trade future
Speaking on behalf of the People’s Vote campaign, Lord Heseltine backed up Mr Trunp’s damning quotes this morning.
Mr Hseletine said, according to The Telegraph: “The easy certainties once uttered by the organisers and mouthpieces of the Brexit campaign have fallen one by one.
“The latest and greatest collapse of the Brexit edifice has come with Donald Trump’s brutal and direct dismissal of the prospect of a trade deal under the terms negotiated by the Government with the EU.
“Donald Trump has confirmed that Brexit Britain may not be able to get an agreement with the US at all.
“We were told such trade deals would be the easiest thing ever and that there would be dozens ready to sign the second we left. None of this is true. Not only is this not what was promised two years ago, it is a long way from being as good as what we currently enjoy as full members of the EU.
“This miserable mess underlines how the debate about Brexit will go on forever as successive rounds of negotiators try to make sense of a Brexit that makes no sense for Britain.”
Brexit news: Ministers claim a pledge to quit after Brexit day would win support for the deal
10.45am update: Brexiteers ‘will back May’s deal if she agrees to resign’
Member of Theresa May’s Tory Government have urged the Prime Minister to set a date for her departure, in order to soften opposition to her agreement.
It is thought Mrs May promising to quit shortly after Brexit day on March 29 would help to quell rising friction in the government.
A Cabinet source told The Times: “We know that the future relationship is not binding.
“This means she is the problem, not the deal per se, since it leaves plenty of flexibility for a successor to oranise technical solutions for the Irish border and move towars Canada.”
Former defence secretary Michael Fallon claimed the dela was a “huge gamble”, saying on the Today programme: “Paying, leaving, surrendering our vote and our veto without any frim commitment to frictionless trade of the absolute right to dismantle external tarrifs.
“Is it really wise to trust the future of our economy to a pledge simply to use best endeavours?”
Brexit news: The Iron Maiden singer says Brexit will ‘open up the UK to the rest of the world’
10.20am update: Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson says Brexit will ‘open up UK to rest of the world’
Lead singer for legendary British metal band Iron Maiden has revealed why he voted for Brexit in March 2019.
He claimed Brexit would “open up the United Kingdom to the rest of the world”.
Speaking to French publication L’Obs, Mr Dickinson said: “Iron Maiden music is global music – we have fans everywhere. I don’t see any problem with touring Australia – that’s not part of the EU.
“There’s no problem with touring in Japan – that’s not part of the EU.
“I don’t see any problem with touring America. Oh, let me see – that’s not part of the EU. Do those musicians have problems coming to Europe? No.”
Mr Dickinson criticised Government infighting, saying that there is “a lot of nonsense and scare stories being made up by both sides which I think is pretty immature.”
Mr Dickinson said he was ‘quite relaxed’ about leaving the EU, adding: “Brexit actually opens our borders. Brexit opens the United Kingdom to the whole of the world.”
Brexit news: Europe’s highest court, said allowing unilateral withdrawal will end ‘in disaster’
10.00am update: ECJ lawyer says unilateral withdrawal of Article 50 will lead ‘to disaster’
The lawyer representing the Council of the European Union said allowing unilateral withdrawal could lead to “disaster”.
He said: “the main victim could be the European project altogether”.
He said Article 50 is “not ambiguous”, saying: “The prerogative of acting alone will have been exhausted by putting the notification letter on the council’s table.”
Represemting the UK government, Lord Keen argued the question of whether or not Article 50 can be unilaterally revoked should be ruled “inadmissible” and asked the court not to open what he described as a “Pandora’s box”.
He said: “In short, they seek to co-opt this court and into their ongoing political campaign in regard to an issue of almost unparalleled political controversy and sensitivity.”
Brexit news: One of the MPs part of the ECJ hearing thinks the court had made a ‘concession’
09.50am update: ECJ is told UK could reverse Brexit decision by Scottish petitioners
During a hearing in Luxembourg which started at 09.00am, the ECJ was told that the UK can unilaterally reverse its decision to leave the European Union.
Aidan O’Neill, lawyer for the Scottish politicians, told a hearing of a full court of Luxembourg justices who have expedited the case because of its urgency, said all parties agreed that Article 50 could be revoked.
Mr O’Neill said: “The petitioners’ case is that it’s fundamental to the treaties and values of the European Union that a member state can revoke a withdrawal notice from the European Union without agreement of all other council states.”
Labour MP Chris Leslie, one of the parties involved in the ECJ case, tweeted: “At European Court just now, lawyer for EU Council agrees that UK’s revocation of Article 50 notice “should not be excluded” by the Court.
He added: “Important concession suggesting that, in view of EU27, we DO have right-to-revoke the #Brexit notice.”
Leave campaigners have seized on Mr Fallon’s comments about Mrs May’s deal
9.45am update: Remainer MPs jump on Michael Fallon comments
Liberal Democrat MP Tom Brake, a Best for Britain campaign advocate, has said: “When people like Michael Fallon, an uber-loyalist cannot vote for this deal, you know the Prime Minister is facing a historic defeat.
“Fallon was always the trusted media performer in cabinet – this statement is probably the final nail in the coffin for the Prime Minister’s deal.”
9.35am update: German Chancellor Merkel responds to Brexit agreement sign off: ‘Agreement was the only way possible’
Commenting on the EU27’s decision to sign off Mrs May’s Brexit agreement, Mrs Merkel said: “A work of diplomatic art had been achieved in an extremely difficult situation, an unprecedented situation.
“Something we have never had to face till now, a country leaving the European Union, having to create a contractual exit agreement, taking in to account the different interests, but also, at the same time looking to the future.
“A future that alows a close partnership, which will likely mean tough negotiations, but also a future where we wish each other success.
“And our agreement was the only way this was possible.”
Brexit news: Mrs Merkel hailed the agreement as the only way EU states could work together
9.20am update: David Lidington says Scottish business ‘better off’ under Mrs May’s Brexit deal
David Lidington has insisted that Scottish businesses will be better off under Theresa May’s new Brexit deal.
Mr Lidington, the de-facto deputy prime minister, said it would give businesses trading opportunities with Europe and once the transition period is over, a chance to negotiate free trade agreements with other countries around the world.
He told BBC Good Morning Scotland: “Scotland will be better off because Scottish business, like business in any other part of the United Kingdom, is promised a closer economic partnership with our neighbours and friends in the European Union than Canada has or other advanced economies have.
“So Scottish business will have the assurance of the UK single market still being there and they will have the advantage of those trading opportunities with our partners next door in Europe but also, once we move out of the transitional period, the opportunity to negotiate our own free trade agreements with other countries around the world as well.
“The economy will be stronger once the deal is actually voted through.
“Because what business at the moment is telling us is that they’re putting on ice decisions about investment, decisions about employment because of the uncertainty about the EU negotiations and I think that one of the powerful, pragmatic reasons for supporting what I think is a good compromise deal is to give business that certainty so they can plan and they can take confident decisions about investment.”
Theresa May faces srong opposition in the Commons and challenged Jeremy Corbyn to a live debate
9.10am update: Theresa May’s push to sell Brexit plans to land in Northern Ireland
Theresa May’s two week tour to sell her Brexit plan to the public will land in Wales and Northern Ireland later today.
Although her plan had already been approved by an EU27 summit in Brussels, Mrs May is seeking to gain public support, while Ministers in her own Government look to vote down the bill.
Mrs May is expected to meet politicians any Storming House today – but the DUP, which props up Mrs May’s Cabinet, said it will vote down the deal.
But other NI parties, including The SDLP, Alliance, Sinn Féin and the Green Party have welcomed the draft deal, despite being anti-Brexit.
The prime minister will urge politicians at Storming House to listen to local employers and businesses, including the Ulster Farmers’ Union and Manufacturing NI, who have already got behind her deal.
Ahead of her trip to wales and Northern Ireland, the Prime Minister said: prime minister said: “Having been told by the EU that we would need to split the UK in two, we are leaving as one United Kingdom.
“My deal delivers for every corner of the UK and I will work hard to strengthen the bonds that unite us as we look ahead to our future outside of the EU.”
A cross-party group of MPs have launched a legal challenge to see if Brexit can be reversed
9.00am update – Article 50 hearing at European Court of Justice gets underway
A legal challenge over Brexit has begun at the European Court of Justice (ECJ).
A cross-party group of politicians originally launched the action to determine if the UK can unilaterally revoke its Article 50 request to leave the EU.
Those bringing the case believe the UK Parliament could halt the process if MPs vote down the final deal.
Meanwhile, Theresa May’s Government argues the case is hypothetical – sand says it has no plans to revoke Article 50.
Aidan O’Neill QC, representing the cross-party group of politicians , said the Council of the European Union and the European Commission are inviting the court to act “unconstitutionally and in contravention of the rule of law by reinterpreting the treaties”.
He added: “It cannot be in the interest of the union as a whole to force a member state to leave the union against the wishes of the people.
“The union’s wider interest lies with member states remaining in the EU when their peoples wish to do so.”
Mr Fallon called Mrs May’s deal ‘the worst of all worlds’
08.45am update: Former defence secretary Michael Fallon calls Mrs May’s deal “worst of all worlds”
The Sevenaoks MP, once seen as a Theresa May loyalist, said the agreement seems “doomed” to fail when it comes to the House of Commons and said he would not back it in parliament.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, he said: “My fear is that this deal gives us the worst of all worlds.
“No guarantee of smooth trade in the future and no ability to reduce the tariffs that we need to conclude trade deals with the rest of the world.
“So, unless the House of Commons can be persuaded somehow that those are possible then I think, yes, the deal is doomed.”
Former Cabinet minister Sir Michael Fallon had earlier said the Government couldn’t “brush off” the trade claims of the US President – but Mr Fallon also stated that Mrs may should not stand down if she loses the crucial Commons vote on December 11.
Mr Fallon said: “I don’t think changing the leader actually is going to affect this. It’s the Government as a whole that needs to see that this deal at the moment doesn’t work for Britain.”
Donal Trump took a swipe at Mrs May’s agreement and suggested future UK-US trade deals were at risk
8.30am update: David Lidington shrugs off Donald Trump trade comments
Cabinet Office minister and de facto deputy David Lidington has shrugged off Donald Trump’s comments that Theresa May’s Brexit deal “sounds like a great deal for the EU”.
Mr Lidington told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I don’t think it was that unexpected.”
He insisted the wording of the Withdrawal Agreement means the UK can still negotiate trade deals during the transition period, with those negotiations to = be signed once the country fully exits the bloc.
Mr Lidington said: “I think it was always going to be challenging to do a deal with the United States.
“The United States is a tough negotiator, President Trump’s always said very plainly ‘I put America first’.
“Well, I’d expect the British Prime Minister to put British interests first, but it’s going to be a very tough negotiation.”
Brexit news: Liam Fox is using his current Israel trip to bolster trade deals with the middle east
“There’s no plan B because the European Union itself is saying the deal that is on the table is the one that we have had to compromise over.”
8.10am update: International Trade Secretary uses Israel to bolster Brexit ties
Dr Liam Fox is using his current visit to Israel to boost economic ties ahead of Brexit.
Dr Fox is due to meet Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu during the trip.
Accordign to the government, UK exports to Israel have grown by 75% in the first half of 2018, and trade between the two countries stood at nine billion US dollars in 2017.
Dr Fox said: “Britain’s relationship with Israel is stronger than it has ever been with record levels of bilateral cooperation in trade, investment, science and technology.
“2017 alone saw more than nine billion US dollars worth of goods trade between our two countries.
Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn will showdown on TV on December 9, two days before Commons votes
“Ensuring continuity for our businesses is the best foundation for growing two-way UK-Israel trade and investment.
“The complementary nature of our economies in areas like science and technology, where we are both global leaders, gives us an obvious opportunity to increase our already record-breaking levels of bilateral trade.”
7.50am update: Theresa May-Jeremy Corbyn Brexit debate date
Theresa May is due to debate Brexit with Jeremy Corbyn in front of the cameras on December 9.
The date, revealed by The Sun, will come two days before Parliament debate and vote on the deal.
Speaking to the Sun, Mrs May said: “I am going to be explaining why I think this deal is the right deal for the UK – and yes, I am ready to debate it with Jeremy Corbyn.
“Because I have got a plan. He hasn’t got a plan.”
7.40am update: May lacking international support for Brexit deal
International leaders have also shown their opposition to Mrs May’s deal. French president Emmanuel Macron is attempting to use the issue of British fishing waters as a form of Brexit blackmail. But Mrs May was adamant on Monday she would not let that happen.
And last night US President Donald Trump made scathing comments on the future of US-UK trade.
Mr Trump attacked Theresa May’s deal as being “great” for the European Union and questioned whether the agreed terms would mean the UK and US could still trade.
Speaking to reporters in Washington DC, Mr Trump blindsided the Prime Minister while she attempts to convince MPs at home to back the deal.
Mr Trump said: “It sounds like a great deal for the EU and I think we have to take a look at seriously whether the UK is allowed to trade because right now, if you look at the deal, they may not be able to trade with us and that wouldn’t be a good thing.”
Although Mr Trump and Mrs May are due to attend the G20 summit in Argentina this weekend, Mrs May’s official spokesman said there were no specific plans for sit-down talks between the two leaders.
The spokesman said: “We have met with the president on a number of occasions in recent months and the bilaterals that are agreed for the G20 are done so in advance, and they don’t include the US president.”