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May accused of misleading MPs over Brexit deal

May accused of misleading MPs over Brexit deal

Starmer said it was "unthinkable" that the government had tried to keep the advice from Parliament and the public before lawmakers vote Tuesday on the government's Brexit deal.

At a rowdy session of parliament, Attorney General Geoffrey Cox outlined the legal advice he had given to the government, including over a "backstop" arrangement to prevent the return of a hard border between Northern Ireland and EU member state Ireland if a future UK-EU trading deal is not reached in time.

"Despite statements in the Protocol that it is not meant to be permanent and the clear intention of the parties that it should be replaced by alternative, permanent arrangements, in global law, the Protocol would endure indefinitely until a superseding agreement took its place", the advice said.

As the parliamentary debate plays out over the next few days, there are numerous scenarios being thrown up if the premier is unable to get support for her deal in the crucial December 11 vote. It is unclear what will happen if the deal is rejected, as Britain is due to leave on March 29.

Worries about the backstop are a driver of opposition to the deal among both May's own Conservative lawmakers and the Northern Irish democratic unionist party (DUP) which props up her minority government.

And while he welcomed the Tory MP to the region, Mr Dodds said the visit "seems to be more about telling us what we should do rather than listening".

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European politicians have given a final strongly-worded warning to British MPs preparing to vote against the Brexit deal, with one branding the belief it could be renegotiated nearly "insane".

A source from within the group dismissed the move as an attempt to spook senior parliamentarians.

On Wednesday, May's parliamentary enforcer, or chief whip, Julian Smith, spent an hour meeting pro-Brexit Conservative and DUP lawmakers, listening to their concerns about the deal.

May's efforts to win support came as British newspapers reported that the House of Commons could reject her divorce deal with the European Union by more than 100 votes when they vote on it Tuesday.

Sir Graham told BBC2's Newsnight: "I think the most important thing is to have clarity about how we might remove ourselves from a backstop. if we were to enter into one in the future".

But May warned on Tuesday that another Brexit vote would do nothing to settle bitter debates about Britain's place in Europe that have raged since it joined the bloc in 1973. There was a real danger that Parliament would try to "steal" Brexit from the British people, Mr Fox told a parliamentary committee yesterday.

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From the legal advice: "While it will not be directly bound by European Union rules, GB [Great Britain] will be obliged to observe a range of regulatory regulations in certain areas, such as environmental, labour, social and competition laws (the "level playing field"), which reflects varying levels of correspondence to European Union standards". Remain with 52 per cent support while a no-deal would receive 48 per cent.

Shadow home secretary Diane Abbot said: "On the question of security, assertions, aspirations, a wish list is not enough, we need a treaty".

If MPs accept the deal, Britain is sure to leave the European Union on March 29, 2019, but if they reject it, the resulting whirlwind of political activity would be on a scale unrivalled in the United Kingdom for decades. He reiterated Thursday that the May agreement on Brexit was the only one on the table. Another said it was: "Too little, too late".

The forecasts were slightly weaker than those of the Bank of England.

But she emphasised neither side wanted this to happen, and repeated that the withdrawal agreement struck with Brussels last month was the only viable option.

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