The Prime Minister’s terms would force Britain to hand over £39 billion to Brussels without any guarantee of a trade deal and would hinder Britain’s ability to strike new agreements with countries around the world, the Tory MP said. Mr Rees-Mogg launched the fresh attack against the Brexit deal in a series of tweets. His latest criticism of Mrs May’s plan comes just days before a crunch Commons vote in which MPs are widely expected to reject the contentious deal.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister was handed a damning verdict by the public on her Brexit plan as new polling shows only two constituencies back her vision for the split.
The stunning poll shows 630 constituencies would rather reject the Prime Minister’s Withdrawal Agreement, which MPs are due to vote on in four days time.
The YouGov poll found that only Broxbourne and Christchurch supported Mrs May with 30 other constituencies saying they favoured a no-deal Brexit.
An overwhelming 600 seats said remaining in the European Union would be the best outcome for Britain.
The verdict on the deal comes as Theresa May has rejected calls from senior Tories to delay next week’s crunch House of Commons vote despite fears the Prime Minister will suffer a shattering defeat that could ultimately bring down her Government.
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Brexiteer Jacob-Rees Mogg launched a fresh attack on Theresa May’s Brexit deal
8.20pm: Corbyn could DELAY Brexit if Labour wins power
Jeremy Corbyn said he would consider holding up Britain’s departure from the EU if Labour comes to power.
The Labour leader said if more time was needed to negotiate a better deal then he would delay Brexit.
He told Sky News: “If we go into Government straight away we would start negotiating straight away.
“If it meant holding things a bit longer to do it, of course.”
Labour is pushing for a general election if Theresa May’s deal is defeated in the Commons next week.
Mr Corbyn has insisted he would be able to agree more favourable terms with the EU if his party was negotiating in Brussels.
Labour has previously said it would look to remain in a customs union with the EU – which would surrender the ability to strike new trade deals with the rest of the world – as well as pushing for full access to the bloc’s single market.
Jeremy Corbyn said he would consider delaying Brexit if Labour forms a Government
5.40pm: Activists seeking to overturn Brexit tell court ‘corrupt practices’ undermined 2016 vote
Lawyers acting for campaigners fighting to stop Brexit have told a court the historic decision to leave the European Union was undemocratic because of “corrupt and illegal practices” during the referendum.
The 2016 vote was not a “free and fair vote” because of breaches of electoral law by pro-Leave organisations, the campaign group argued in the High Court today.
They are seeking a legal review of the Brexit process with the hope the decision to quit the EU will be overturned.
Mr Justice Ouseley said he expects to give his ruling on the case on Monday or Tuesday.
The UK in EU Challenge was set up by Britons living on the continent in a bid to stop an “undemocratic Brexit”.
Vote Leave was fined £61,000 and referred to the police while Leave.EU was fined £70,000 following investigations by the Electoral Commission.
The group is arguing these electoral offences mean both the result of the referendum and the decision to trigger Article 50 and begin Brexit are null and void.
The campaign is also bringing a case against Theresa May for what they say was her failure to act on the Electoral Commission findings.
Lawyers representing Mrs May are urging the judge to reject the case, saying it is “unarguable”.
The decision to leave the EU is being challenged in the High Court
4.20pm: May warned of MORE resignations over Brexit plan
The Prime Minister could face resignations by ministerial aides in the coming days unless urgent changes are made to her Brexit deal, Liam Fox’s parliamentary private secretary (PPS) has warned.
Dudley South MP Mike Wood told the Guardian he had “big issues” with the Northern Ireland backstop.
And he said he would resign if there were not enough “changes and reassurances” before Tuesday’s vote to allow him to support her plan.
He added that other PPSs may follow suit, with the newspaper reporting him as saying: “You can obviously see there have been a number of PPSs who have spoken in favour of the Government this week.
“A clear majority will vote with the Government on Tuesday.
“There are others who have a range of questions and concerns that they will want to be resolved before making their decision.”
Parliamentary private secretaries are MPs but also serve as assistants to ministers.
This is what could happen when MPs vote on Tuesday
3.40pm: Jacob Rees-Mogg sets out reasons to reject May’s deal
The prominent Brexiteer has launched a fresh attack on the Prime Minister’s deal by posting six “reasons why the Withdrawal is bad”.
In a series of tweets, Mr Rees-Mogg criticised Mrs May’s plan for handing billions over £39 billion to Brussels “with no guarantee of any long term agreement in return”.
He said the divorce bill should only be paid if the EU agrees to a trade deal.
The outspoken backbencher also warned the terms of Mrs May’s deal “keeps the supremacy of the European Court over our own law”.
His third reason echoed a major concern for Brexiteers that the proposed transition period, currently scheduled to end in December 2020, could be extended forcing Britain to abide by EU laws and regulations without having a say in how they are made.
Reason number four covers immigration, with Mr Rees-Mogg saying EU citizens will be able to move “unrestricted” to Britain for “at least four years after the referendum”.
The final two reasons cover trade, with the prominent Leave campaigner warning the UK would be “cut off from the world with our trade and economy regulated from Brussels”.
He also said British goods being exported to the continent would still need to undergo customs checks at Calais under the deal.
Harvey Gavin taking over from Tom Nellist on live reporting.
Reasons why the Withdrawal Agreement is bad 1/6: This deal hands over £39bn of UK taxpayers money with no guarantee of any long term agreement in return. In two years time we could be in the same place less £39bn. Our money should be conditional on a trade deal. #CleanBrexit
— Jacob Rees-Mogg (@Jacob_Rees_Mogg) December 7, 2018
2.50pm update: What will happen to the pound if MPs reject Brexit deal?
Some currency analysts think the pound might not plunge if Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit withdrawal agreement is rejected in Parliament next week.
However others foresee a fall in the pound-euro exchange rate as inevitable.
Tom Holian, writing for the Pound Sterling Forecast website, said: “With such uncertainty surrounding what may happen next week if the vote does not go through, this could cause further losses for the pound against the euro and as we saw with the original referendum back in June 2016 with a 10 percent fall on pound to euro rates a precedent of huge movement in a single day has been set.”
READ MORE: Pound latest: What will happen to GBP after Brexit vote? This is why pound might NOT drop
2.26pm update: Kent begs Theresa May for more Brexit help
Kent County Council has pleaded with the Government for more help on managing Brexit.
Leaders in the southeastern county are worried about potential “chaos” that could ensue if they do not get more co-operation and investment from the Government.
Paul Carter said he is concerned about a repeat of the 2015 frenzy when lorries were forced to park on the motorway due to difficulties at the Channel crossing.
In a report to Kent County Council, Mr Carter said: “We now need far more input and information from national Government in how they are going to work with us.
“There must be a national freight transport plan which, when necessary, can hold lorries back from coming into Kent in the first place should the need arise.
“We now have holding areas to take more than 10,000 lorries before it becomes necessary to use the M26 to hold freight, which is a situation that I want to avoid as far as we possibly can.
“We need the right investment from the Department for Transport in the technology, number plate recognition and enforcement powers to stop lorries cutting and running down inappropriate highways and by-ways in Kent and directed to go where they’re told.”
Leaders at Kent County Council are worried a poorly handled Brexit could see a repeat of 2015 chaos
2.02pm update: British pharmaceutical industry boss issues no deal medicine warning
The chief executive of the Association of British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) has given the Government a stark warning over medicine supplies in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
The ABPI’s Mike Thompson has warned the government that stockpiling medicines is not the answer.
He said drug firms were doing everything in their power to help ensure a smooth flow of medicine but said “there are thing which are out of our control.”
The Government confirmed earlier today that flying in medicine on charter flights is one of the options being considered if the UK crashes out of the EU without a deal on March 29.
Mr Thompson added: “Today’s update on potential border delays for six months in a ‘no deal’ scenario is stark.
“Stockpiling more medicines is not the solution to this problem.
“While we welcome the Secretary of State’s intention to prioritise the flow of medicines and vaccines, we need the detail.
“With just 16 weeks until the UK leaves the EU, we need the Government to take immediate action to open up alternative supply routes between the UK and Europe and tell companies so that they can make plans.”
1.34pm update: DUP assures Government agreement is set to continue despite Brexit deal opposition
Cabinet Office minister David Lidington, who is in Belfast to gather support for the Brexit deal, has said the DUP’s confidence and supply agreement is still in tact.
He said the Northern Ireland party has given him assurances the DUP are not thinking of breaking the pact.
He said: “The DUP have made it clear that they see the confidence and supply agreement as continuing.
“As with any minority Government there are going to be squalls and difficulties in a Parliament where the Government does not have an automatic majority in either House, but that is not something new to British history.”
Mr Lidington also called on MPs to back May’s deal, saying: “The choices are not going to go away as a consequence of postponing the vote.
“No other deal is available, therefore it is either crash out, which would do serious damage to businesses large and small, or it is reverse the decision and decide to stay in the European Union after all, which would, I think, come as a heavy blow to very many millions who voted to leave two years ago.”
READ MORE: DUP vows to snub any attempt to oust Theresa May as Prime Minister
The DUP has assured Cabinet Office minister David Lidington over the confidence and supply agreement
1.06pm update: MP hits back at Boris Johnson’s war analogy
Boris Johnson should support a second Brexit referendum, a Liberal Democrat MP has said after the former foreign secretary likened the current terms of Theresa May’s deal to those imposed on a country defeated in war.
Layla Moran, who is a supporter of the Best for Britain and People’s Vote campaigns, said it was “rich” for Mr Johnson to make his comments after being part of the Government which negotiated the deal.
She said: “For a deserter like Boris Johnson to be making war analogies is a bit rich.
“He was part of the Government who negotiated this awful deal.
“If he really wanted to avoid this utter humiliation, he’d back the only sensible way to break the Brexit deadlock in Parliament.
“That means supporting the people having a final say with the option to keep the benefits of EU membership.
“That would be the real victory for Britain.”
Lib Dem MP Layla Moran has called on Boris Johnson to back a second referendum
12.51pm update: Former Cabinet minister reveals colleagues ‘crumbled’ around her over May’s deal
Esther McVey, the former Work and Pensions Secretary, has said cabinet members “crumbled” and failed to support her as she demanded Theresa May give MPs a vote on her deal after it was secured last month.
The former Cabinet minister told the Prime Minister she should give the Commons a say on her deal but said she was not backed up by others at the marathon meeting the day Theresa May agreed her deal with the European Union.
The following day both she and Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab resigned their roles.
The Liverpool MP told the Daily Telegraph: “No one in the Cabinet supported me.
“What I was asking for was a vote on the most important issue in a generation.”
Mrs McVey went on to describe the Withdrawal Agreement as “terrible”, saying it is “the worst of both worlds.”
She added: “When the moment came, my Cabinet colleagues chose not to say anything.
“People talk about accountability, people talk about politicians with integrity but when it came to the crunch the other people around the room crumbled.
“I said, I hope they weren’t like that in their EU negotiaitions.’
Esther McVey says colleagues at a crunch Brexit cabinet meeting ‘crumbled’ and did not support her
12:34pm update: People’s Vote leader believes second referendum will happen
Another referendum is more likely than ever before, the director of a campaign calling for a second Brexit vote believes.
James McGrory said momentum is building behind his People’ Vote campaign and the organisation has gone from being laughed at to at the heart of British politics.
The 36-year-old told Reuters: “We have gone from being seen as a fringe view, dismissed and laughed at, to now being at the centre of the Brexit debate.
“The odds are getting shorter every day that we get another referendum.
“All the momentum is with our campaign.”
12:07pm update: Boris Johnson launches renewed attack on Prime Minister’s Brexit plan
Chief Brexiteer Boris Johnson has likened Theresa May’s Brexit deal to the kind of conditions imposed on a country that has been defeated in war.
The former foreign secretary once again called for MPs to vote down Theresa May’s ‘humiliating’ deal next week saying it gives the EU power to “bully and blackmail” the UK.
Writing on Facebook, he said: “Theresa May’s deal hands the EU the indefinite power to bully and blackmail this country to get whatever it wants in the future negotiations.
“It is quite incredible that any government could agree to such terms. They resemble the kind of diktat that might be imposed on a nation that has suffered a military defeat.”
Mr Johnson added the backstop is the “worst aspect” of the deal, saying it is “a break-up of the Union.”
He also said the deal would let the EU “plunder the waters of Scotland for their fish” and allow Spain to “make another push for Gibraltar.”
Boris Johnson has attacked Theresa May’s Brexit deal ahead of next week’s vote
11.45am update: Brexit vote is going ahead next week confirms Downing Street
Tuesday’s crunch vote on Brexit will be held as planned, the Government has confirmed.
A spokesman for the Prime Minister insisted MPs will vote on Theresa May’s deal and the vote will not be postponed despite Tory fears the Prime Minister will be defeated by up to 200 votes.
The Downing Street spokesman told a Westminster briefing: “The vote is going ahead on Tuesday.”
11.23am update: EU would renegotiate if Brexit deal is rejected in Commons vote says Shadow Chancellor
Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell has said the EU would be open to renegotiating the Brexit deal with Labour if it is voted down in Tuesday’s vote.
Mr McDonnell said if the deal fails it would allow Parliament to explore other options rapidly.
Speaking in Glasgow, he said: “We believe that next week, when Theresa May’s deal is voted down, Parliament will have the opportunity to explore other routes.
“We’ve offered a route that could gain sufficient support and that does mean reopening negotiations rapidly.
“I think the concerns that were expressed yesterday on a number of sides of the House was that the deal itself won’t be voted through, it doesn’t stack up economically, and as a result of that negotiations need to start very, very quickly.”
Mr McDonnell added that Labour would first try to get another deal before accepting the need for a second referendum if that failed.
He said: “I think people will recognise we would have no other option but to consider another public vote,” he said.
“People respect us for doing our best to implement the spirit of the referendum result.”
Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell has said Labour would “rapidly” reopen Brexit negotiations with EU
10.47am update: Giant yellow anti-Brexit bus begins protest tour
Anti-Brexit campaigners are driving a giant yellow bus plastered with a massive slogan reading BO**LLOCKS TO BREXIT around the country.
The group begins their two-week tour, which will take in the whole of the UK, the Irish border and even Brussels, today in Westminster.
However it has sparked outrage with people suggesting the slogan falls under offensive language laws.
READ MORE: BO**LLOCKS TO BREXIT – anti-Brexit campaigners parade FOUL-MOUTHED protest across UK
READ MORE: ‘BO**OCKS TO BREXIT’ bus sparks outrage as Remain group parades FILTHY slogan to children
The giant bright yellow bus outside the Houses of Parliament this morning
10.23am update: Prime Minister should negotiate Norway-plus Brexit – Kinnock
Labour MP Stephen Kinnock has said there is significant support in Cabinet for a “Norway-plus” style Brexit.
The model, which would mean the UK remaining in the single market and customs union, is the only option for the Prime Minister when she loses next week’s vote, according to the son of the former Labour leader.
Stephen Kinnock told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “The country is crying out for us to put our narrow tribalism to one side.
“We understand that there are at least 10 Cabinet ministers who are supporting the Norway-plus arrangement.
“What we need the Prime Minister to do, when she loses the vote on Tuesday, is to go on to the steps of Downing Street and make a very clear statement that we must pivot now to Norway-plus.”
9.47am update: Government says Irish economy would suffer under no deal Brexit
THE brutal impact on the European Union if Britain walks away without a deal has been outlined by a shock Government report outlining how Ireland would suffer under that scenario.
The leaked study shows Ireland would suffer from food shortages and see a seven percent drop in gross domestic product if a deal was not reached.
The revelations have piled pressure on Theresa May to demand Dublin drops its backstop demands.
The report says Ireland is “a more open economy than the UK, accounting for 60 percent of GDP comprised of goods and exports, as opposed to 40 percent in the UK”.
READ MORE: Ireland ‘faces food SHORTAGES!’ This is why EU is really DESPERATE for a Brexit deal
9.23am update: Chief whip tells Theresa May she will lose Tuesday’s vote, possibly by up to 200 votes
The Government’s chief whip, Julian Smith, has admitted for the first time that the Government is on course to be defeated in next week’s Brexit deal vote.
Mr Smith joined Government ministers at an emergency meeting called by Theresa May yesterday to warn the Prime Minister she should expect to lose by up to 200 votes.
In the meeting, the Prime Minister agreed that such a defeat would be catastrophic and the Government must avoid the scenario at all costs, the Telegraph reports.
Ministers presented Theresa May with four options but were left “exasperated” after receiving a “non-commital response” from her.
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson and Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd were said to be among the most vocal at the meeting, suggesting the Prime Minister should seriously consider postponing Tuesday’s vote by up to a week in order to get more concessions from the EU on the Irish backstop
This is something she has said will not happen and Chancellor Philip Hammond told MPs to back the dealing saying it was “simply a delusion” to think Brussels would make any more concessions.
Other options put to the Prime Minister include delaying the vote until January and reopening negotiations with Brussels or inserting an amendment to next week’s vote giving MPs more control over the Northern Ireland backstop arrangement.
9.08am update: Government outlines no deal Brexit plans to fly in medicines to get around gridlocked ports
Health Secretary Matt Hancock added the Government is looking at ways to speed up access to medicines in the event a no deal Brexit leaves shipping ports gridlocked.
Mr Hancock also said there are plans being developed for chemists to ration drugs to maintain supplies of vital medicines for patients.
He defended the Government’s no deal plans and said the worrying eventuality is a strong reason for MPs to get behind the Withdrawal Agreement.
The cabinet minister said: “it’s about having the appropriate clinical flexibility.”
Mr Hancock added the no deal plans are about “making sure that the rules are aligned to what is best practice, to make sure that if there is, on any individual area – whether it is to do with Brexit or not – if there is a shortage of an individual drug, that pharmacists can make their clinical and professional judgments”.
As part of the plans he said: “We are working on ensuring that we have aviation capacity.”
Asked if that means scheduling special planes to fly in medicine, he said: “We are working on exactly how we are going to do that, but that is part of the work we are doing.”
“If there is serious disruption at the border we will have prioritisation, and prioritisation will include medicines and medical devices,” he said.
He said the Government was also “buying a large collection of refrigeration units so that those drugs that can be stockpiled, we will have a stockpile of.”
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has insisted next week’s meaningful vote will not be called off
8.54am update: Brexit vote will not be delayed says Health Secretary
Matt Hancock, one of the ministers being sent out by the Prime Minister to get support for her Brexit deal, has said Tuesday’s vote will go ahead as planned.
The Health Secretary added Downing Street had been “very clear” that it will not be delayed.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, the West Suffolk MP said: “I think that we should make the argument, make the case and persuade people. That’s what you have parliamentary debate for.
“I don’t know how likely ‘no deal’ is. It is what happens automatically unless Parliament passes something else.
“I very strongly feel that the best thing for the country, not just for the health service but for the country as a whole, is for Theresa May’s deal to pass.”
8.26am update: Prime Minister deploys ministers in final Brexit deal push
Theresa May is sending 30 of her top ministers out and about around the country today in a desperate bid to get MPs to back her deal next week.
Chancellor Philip Hammond, the Prime Minister’s deputy David Lidington and Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay are among senior cabinet members who will be attempting to gather support for Mrs May’s Withdrawal Agreement.
Mr Hammond will visit a school in Chertsey while Cabinet Office Minister Mr Lidington will be deployed to meet small business leaders in Belfast.
Stephen Barclay will be in the East Midlands visiting engineering companies in and around Peterborough.
Meanwhile Health Secretary Matt Hancock is being sent to Portsmouth where he will announce an extra £1 billion for health facilities in England.
David Mundell will try to persuade Scotland, which voted Remain in the 2016 referendum, to back the Prime Minister’s deal as he visits employers in Glasgow.
8.10am update: Read Theresa May’s defiance in today’s Daily Express
Today’s Daily Express leads with an exclusive on Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn begging City business leaders for donations.
Inside, the Prime Minister’s rejection of calls from top Tory MPs to delay Tuesday’s vote is covered.
The has DUP vowed not to help topple Theresa May and Tony Blair has sparked fury by renewing his demands for a second referendum
Daily Express front page December 7, 2018
7.54am update: Poll reflects Prime Minister’s fight with the Commons
The poll which has highlighted the public’s stark view on Theresa May’s Brexit deal used the same method that predicted the last general election to a “near perfect” standard, according to YouGov.
The research organisation said their MRP constituency modelling technique forecasted a hung Parliament in 2017 and their latest poll was one of the largest Brexit surveys ever carried out.
YouGov polled 20,910 people between November 27 and December 4.
They asked the electorate’s opinion on Theresa May’s deal in order to find out exactly how MPs should translate people’s ballots in next week’s so-called meaningful vote.
The survey asked people to rank the Prime Minister’s deal, a no deal outcome or remaining in the EU in order of preference.
A YouGov statement said: “These figures suggest that the Prime Minister is fighting a similar problem among the public at large as she is among her fellow MPs.
“While a chunk back her deal as a compromise, she is having to fight opposition to the deal on two flanks.”
Additional reporting by Tom Nellist.