Theresa May says no Brexit more likely than no deal


Prime Minister Theresa May is making a last-ditch attempt to persuade MPs to back her Brexit deal as Tuesday’s key Commons vote looms closer.

She will warn that trust in politics will suffer “catastrophic harm” if the referendum result is not implemented.

The EU has issued fresh assurances over the deal’s impact on Northern Ireland.

In a letter to Mrs May, it said it did not want the customs backstop to take effect and, if it did, it would only be for “the shortest possible period”.

It also promised to consider alternative ways of preventing the need for physical checks on the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, such as “facilitative arrangements or technologies”.

Jeremy Corbyn has said Labour will vote against the deal and would start moves to trigger a general election if it is voted down.

He told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show: “We will table a motion of no confidence in the government at a time of our choosing, but it’s going to be soon, don’t worry about it.”

Mrs May’s speech comes amid reports MPs plan to take control of Brexit if her deal is defeated.

About 100 Conservative MPs, and the Democratic Unionist Party’s 10 MPs, are currently expected to join Labour and the other opposition parties in voting against the deal.

Speaking to factory workers, Mrs May will say on Monday: “As we have seen over the last few weeks, there are some in Westminster who would wish to delay or even stop Brexit and who will use every device available to them to do so.”

She is to add that she now believes MPs blocking Brexit is more likely than a no-deal scenario.

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