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BBC: Jeremy Corbyn accused of 'stupid woman' jibe at Theresa May

Jeremy Corbyn accused of 'stupid woman' jibe at Theresa May 19 December 2018 Related TopicsPrime Minister's Questions Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionPMQs: Does Jeremy Corbyn call May a 'stupid woman'? Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is facing calls to apologise for apparently calling Theresa May a "stupid woman" during Prime Minister's Questions. The prime minister was mocking Mr Corbyn during heated exchanges, telling him to "look behind you" when he was caught on camera muttering the phrase. Conservative MPs called on the Labour leader to be ordered to apologise. Speaker John Bercow said he had not seen the alleged incident and so could not "immediately" rule on it. There was uproar in the Commons, as Mr Bercow insisted he wanted to see the evidence before "pronouncing" on Mr Corbyn's "innocence or guilt". Mr Corbyn had clashed with the prime minister over her Brexit deal, calling her decision last week to delay a vote on it a "deeply cynical manoeuvre" from a "failing" prime minister. Mrs May hit back at Mr Corbyn saying he had not tabled his promised no confidence motion, and had then tabling one that was ineffective. "I know it's the... pantomime season," she told MPs, "is he going to put a confidence vote? Oh yes he is," she said, prompting backbench Tories MPs to chant "oh no he isn't". Continuing the pantomime theme, she told the Labour leader "look behind you - they are not impressed and neither is the country". Mr Corbyn could be seen saying something under his breath in response. Former minister Sir Patrick McLoughlin used a point of order to accuse Mr Corbyn of having "muttered" that Theresa May was a "stupid woman". Cries of "shame" and "disgraceful" were heard from the Tory benches at this point. Sir Patrick added: "Would it not be appropriate for him to come back into this chamber and apologise?" The row continued after Prime Minister's Questions, with a string of female Conservative MPs joining in with calls for an apology. Commons leader Andrea Leadsom turned on the Speaker himself, reminding Mr Bercow of his failure to apologise to her for calling her a "stupid woman" during an incident earlier this year. Mr Bercow said he had already dealt with that matter. View the full article

BBC: Immigration White Paper: Post-Brexit migration plans unveiled

Immigration White Paper: Post-Brexit migration plans unveiled 19 December 2018 Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The proposals would remove the cap on the number of workers classed as "highly skilled", such as engineers A skills-based immigration system will be introduced to "get control over our borders" when free movement from the EU ends, the home secretary will announce. It will focus on people's "talent and expertise... rather than where they come from", Sajid Javid will say later. The system - to be phased in from 2021 - would scrap the cap on high-skilled workers like doctors and engineers. A dispute between ministers over a proposed £30,000 minimum salary for visas has resulted in a compromise. Some members of cabinet were worried the set amount would limit the ability of businesses and services to recruit enough staff. But agreement has been reached; the terms of it will become public when the white paper is published on Wednesday morning. The much-delayed draft plan leaves out the long-held aim to cut net migration to less than 100,000 a year. But the government has said it is still committed to that target. UK firms 'fearful' for future migration system Immigration: Who should we let in after Brexit? UK migration steady despite EU arrivals dip Setting out the paper, which the government says will give it full control over immigration for the first time in decades, Mr Javid will say that it offers employers access to the skills they need. "We are delivering on the clear instruction to get control over our borders and will bring in a new system that works in the interest of the British people," he will say. "It will be a single, skills-based immigration system built around the talent and expertise people can bring, rather than where they come from - maximising the benefits of immigration and demonstrating the UK is open for business." The white paper will introduce a new visa route for skilled migrants, from Europe and beyond. It accepts a recommendation from the independent Migration Advisory Committee to scrap the current limit of 20,700 on workers classed as high-skilled coming to the UK using "Tier 2" visas. End to free movement Nicholas Watt, BBC Newsnight's political editor, said another of the committee's suggestions - that Tier 2 applicants must meet a £30,000 salary threshold - was the subject of a dispute between ministers. Chancellor Philip Hammond warned that it could harm large areas of the economy. But Theresa May argued it was an example of how the government was honouring the referendum result, he said. The two parties eventually agreed a compromise figure for the threshold. "It is clearly the prime minister who is driving this, because this for her is really personal," Mr Watt said. "She has taken to heart 'take back control'." He added: "The absolute definitive red line for her in her negotiations is to end free movement - she's got to show that she is delivering on that." Valuable workforce Lobby group the Confederation of British Industry has previously called on net migration targets to be scrapped amid fears that reducing low-skilled immigration could damage business. "The UK risks having too few people to run the health service, pick food crops or deliver products to stores around the country," it warned in August. On Tuesday, Conservative MP Sarah Wollaston told the BBC's Newsnight many of the 'valuable workforce' in the in the NHS and social care did not meet a £30,000 salary threshold. "A hospital isn't just about the clinical staff. It's about the porters, the people who work in the kitchen, the social care workforce, who are absolutely crucial to making sure the NHS functions properly," she said. There would be additional costs to the NHS of applying new bureaucratic measures, she added. View the full article

BBC: Brexit: 'Horrified' firms warn time is running out

Brexit: 'Horrified' firms warn time is running out 19 December 2018 Related TopicsBrexit Image copyright Getty Images British businesses have criticised politicians for focusing on in-fighting rather than preparing for Brexit, warning that there is not enough time to prepare for a no-deal scenario. With 100 days to go before the UK leaves the EU, the groups say firms have been "watching in horror" at the ongoing rows within Westminster. The cabinet met on Tuesday to ramp up preparations for a no-deal departure. But the groups say the idea that "no-deal" can be managed is not credible. In other Brexit developments: The EU is to push ahead with its planning for Brexit, including if there is no deal, with the European Commission set to publish legislation to ensure continuity in some sectors on a temporary basis The SNP and other opposition parties table a vote of no confidence in the UK government - but it is understood the government only has to give time to motions tabled in the name of the Leader of the Opposition. Prime Minister Theresa May is to urge the first ministers of Scotland and Wales to back her Brexit deal at a summit in London The Public Accounts Committee of MPs says the government has not done enough to secure the supply of medical equipment in a no-deal scenario. In a joint statement, the British Chambers of Commerce, the Confederation of British Industry, manufacturers' organisation the EEF, the Federation of Small Businesses and the Institute of Directors said: "Businesses have been watching in horror as politicians have focused on factional disputes rather than practical steps that business needs to move forward. "The lack of progress in Westminster means that the risk of a no-deal Brexit is rising." Brexit: A really simple guide How Europe does second referendums What can New Zealand teach us about Brexit? The government said on Tuesday that it had sent letters to 140,000 businesses, urging them to trigger their no-deal contingency plans as appropriate. It will also distribute 100-page information packs on Friday. Image copyright Getty Images Image caption CBI director general Carolyn Fairbairn has joined her fellow business groups in warning against a disorderly no-deal Brexit on 29 March The five business groups, which represent hundreds of thousands of UK firms, said that because of a lack of progress, the government "is understandably now in a place where it must step up no-deal planning". But they say: "It is clear there is simply not enough time to prevent severe dislocation and disruption in just 100 days. "This is not where we should be." Contingency planning The business groups said that instead of investing money and boosting productivity, companies were now having to divert capital for no-deal contingency planning. They also warned: "There are also hundreds of thousands who have yet to start - and cannot be expected to be ready in such a short space of time." What is the government spending on Brexit preparations? All you need to know about the backstop Is the NHS finding it hard to get medicines? James Stewart, head of Brexit at accountancy firm KPMG, said that while there has been intense client activity around Brexit in the last few weeks as the UK heads towards the 29 March departure date: "There is still a long tail of businesses that haven't done nearly enough, including many businesses who haven't even spoken to their employees about what lies ahead." He added: "Even more worrisome are the few remaining very big businesses that have done next to nothing." A spokesman for the prime minister said that with just over three months until the UK leaves the European Union, "we have now reached the point where we need to ramp up these preparations". Businesses should also be prepared, "enacting their own no-deal plans as they judge necessary". Image copyright House of Commons/PA Image caption Ian Blackford said Labour had "failed to hold the government to account" The European Commission is publishing the legislation needed to ensure continuity in eight sectors on a temporary basis. Those areas cover data protection, plant and animal health, customs, climate policy, some narrow financial products and the rights of British people living in the European Union. If there is no Brexit deal, these will apply from 29 March until the end of 2019 at the latest. The UK is due to leave the EU on 29 March after a referendum in 2016. It and the EU have agreed a withdrawal agreement - or "divorce deal" - and a political declaration outlining ambition for future talks - but it needs to be agreed by Parliament for it to come into force. A vote by MPs on the deal had been scheduled for 11 December, but Mrs May postponed it until January after it was clear her deal would be rejected, leading to widespread anger in the Commons. View the full article

'Ross from Friends' lookalike fails to attend court 'Ross from Friends' lookalike fails to attend court 1 hour ago Share this with Facebook Share this with Messenger Share this with Twitter Share this with Email Image copyrightDAVID SCHWIMMER/BLACKPOOL POLICE Image captionAn appeal by Lancashire Police went viral earlier this year A warrant has been issued for the arrest of a "lookalike" of Friends star David Schwimmer who failed to attend court on charges of theft and fraud. Abdulah Husseni, 36, of Spencer Road, Slough, was due to appear at Blackpool Magistrates' Court earlier. He is said to have stolen a coat, a phone and a wallet from a restaurant in Blackpool on 20 September. A police appeal for a suspect by Lancashire Police went viral earlier this year. Social media users pointed out the likeness to Schwimmer's character Ross Geller in the popular US sitcom when police posted an image of a man leaving a restaurant. He was later caught on CCTV carrying a case of beer at a shop in the town. Responding to jokes posted online, Schwimmer responded with a video showing him glancing at a camera as he walked through a convenience store clutching cans of beer. District Judge Jane Goodwin issued a warrant not backed for bail after Mr Husseni failed to answer a summons to attend court at 09:30 GMT.

BBC: National Action trial: Members of neo-Nazi group jailed

National Action trial: Members of neo-Nazi group jailed 18 December 2018 Image copyright West Mids Police Image caption Claudia Patatas and Adam Thomas were members of National Action after it was banned under terrorism laws in December 2016 A couple who named their baby after Adolf Hitler and were convicted of being members of a banned terrorist group have been jailed. Adam Thomas, 22, and Claudia Patatas, 38, from Banbury, along with Daniel Bogunovic, 27, from Leicester, were part of National Action. Birmingham Crown Court heard the couple gave their child the middle name Adolf in "admiration" of Hitler. The men were jailed for more than six years and Patatas for five. Previously Darren Fletcher, 28, from Wolverhampton, Nathan Pryke, 27, from March, Cambridgeshire, and Joel Wilmore, 24, from Stockport, also pleaded guilty to being in National Action. Fletcher has been sentenced to five years, Pryke to five years and five months and Wilmore for five years and 10 months. During the trial the court heard Fletcher trained his toddler daughter to perform a Nazi salute for the camera. Jurors also saw images of Thomas wearing Ku Klux Klan robes while cradling his baby, which he claimed were "just play" but he admitted being a racist. Image copyright West Midlands Police/PA Wire Image caption Adam Thomas said he first discovered a "fascination" with Ku Klux Klan aged 11 Thomas was also found guilty of having a copy of terrorist manual the Anarchist Cookbook. Thomas and Patatas had two machetes, one with a serrated 18in (46cm) blade, in the bedroom where their baby son slept. A police search of their home in January also found one of two crossbows just a few feet from the baby's crib, the jury was told. A pastry cutter shaped like a swastika was discovered in a kitchen drawer, as well as pendants, flags and clothing emblazoned with symbols of the Nazi-era SS and National Action. The Neo-Nazi terrorist group National Action, founded in 2013, was outlawed under anti-terror legislation in 2016 after it celebrated the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox. Prosecutors said the Midlands chapter of the group "shed one skin for another" and "rebranded" after being banned. They said the case was about "a specific type of terror... born out of fanatical and tribal belief in white supremacy". View the full article

BBC: Jeremy Corbyn tables no-confidence vote in Theresa May

Jeremy Corbyn tables no-confidence vote in Theresa May 17 December 2018 Related TopicsBrexit Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionTheresa May announces Brexit vote date Jeremy Corbyn has tabled a motion of no confidence in Theresa May, after she said MPs would not vote on her Brexit deal until the week of 14 January. The PM had delayed the vote from last week, admitting she was set to lose. She told the Commons on Monday the EU had since made clear the Irish backstop was "not a plot to trap the UK", and urged MPs to see Brexit through. But Labour leader Mr Corbyn said it would be unacceptable for MPs to wait another month before having their say. The PM had "led the country into a national crisis", he said. Parliament Live: Rolling updates on Theresa May statement to MPs Corbyn: PM's led UK into national crisis Brexit: A really simple guide Reality Check: How could new referendum work? Kuenssberg: Don't forget there is actually a deal Mr Corbyn said he had tabled a motion calling on MPs to declare they have "no confidence in the prime minister due to her failure to allow the House of Commons to have a meaningful vote straight away" on the Brexit deal. Skip Twitter post by @jeremycorbyn Report End of Twitter post by @jeremycorbyn It is not yet clear when the vote will take place, but it focuses on Mrs May personally, rather than the government. BBC Political Editor Laura Kuenssberg said that while the motion - if successful - could not end in the collapse of the government, "it would be another embarrassment for the PM if Labour ends up winning the day". A 'wasted' month Earlier, Mr Corbyn said a month would be wasted since the original 11 December vote was postponed, with "not a single word renegotiated and not a single reassurance given". "The deal is unchanged and is not going to change," he said. "The House must get on with the vote and move on to consider the realistic alternatives." Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionPM on EU: "There is no plot to keep us in backstop." Mrs May's Brexit deal sets out the terms of Britain's exit from the EU - on 29 March 2019 - and includes a declaration on the outline of the future relations between the UK and the EU. But the deal only comes into force if both parliaments approve it. In a Commons statement, Mrs May said MPs would resume the debate - halted last week - in the week of 7 January. The "meaningful" vote is due to take place in the following week. Mrs May told MPs: "It is now only just over 14 weeks until the UK leaves the EU and I know many members of this House are concerned that we need to take a decision soon." She said she had won fresh guarantees at last week's EU summit over measures to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland and she hoped to secure additional "political and legal assurances" in the coming weeks. Earlier on Monday, an EU spokesman said it had provided the "clarifications" requested on the contentious issue of the Northern Ireland border backstop and "no further meetings were foreseen". During her statement, Mrs May faced calls from across the House for the vote to be held immediately. Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionJeremy Corbyn: May taking shambolic government to new level The SNP's Ian Blackford said the government was a "laughing stock" and Parliament needed to "take control of the situation and find a solution". Former education secretary Justine Greening said Mrs May had led the UK down a "political cul-de-sac" and suggested that criticising alternatives to her deal was "pointless", given the level of opposition to it among MPs. "She now isn't just not listening, she is not allowing debate," she said. Watt: Could John Bercow end the Brexit gridlock? Cameron 'advising PM on Brexit options' Former cabinet ministers Dominic Raab and Esther McVey urged the PM to accelerate planning for a no-deal exit while another former minister, Andrew Mitchell, urged her to consider suspending the Brexit process to allow for further negotiations. Please upgrade your browser Your guide to Brexit jargon Enter the word or phrase you are looking for Search But Mrs May won support from one "previously sceptical" Brexiteer, Sir Edward Leigh, who said her efforts to secure a legally-binding protocol on the Irish backstop might pay off, urging her to "keep calm and carry on". Earlier, No 10 said it had "no plans" for votes on other Brexit outcomes if the PM's deal is rejected after it emerged David Cameron had given advice to his successor. The BBC understands Mr Cameron has been in touch with Mrs May about how a series of "indicative votes" on various different Brexit outcomes could be handled if there was deadlock over the terms of the UK's exit. Potential "Plan B" options include: pursuing different Norway or Canada-style arrangements with the EU leaving on the basis of a "managed no deal" delaying Brexit to restart negotiations hold a fresh referendum The PM is coming under pressure from ministers to "test the will of Parliament" through a series of non-binding votes - which would see MPs pass judgement on the options available in the hope of identifying the most popular. Business Secretary Greg Clark said he backed Mrs May's deal but if Parliament was implacably opposed, it should be "invited to say what it would agree with". Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionCould there be a second Brexit vote? "Businesses expect MPs to take responsibility rather than just be critics," he told Radio 4's Today. Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd made the same point, saying "all options" should remain on the table and if the deal was rejected "let's think about how we test the will of Parliament to find out where the majority is". Calls for another referendum have grown in recent weeks amid signs a majority of MPs are opposed both to the deal on the table, but also leaving the EU without any kind of agreement. Green Party MP Caroline Lucas said a new referendum would be the "first opportunity for people to vote on the facts, not on the fantasy and the fabrication". But Mrs May said another vote would do "irreparable damage to the integrity of our politics" and not settle the issue. "Let us not break faith with the British people by trying to stage another referendum," she said. "Another vote which would likely leave us no further forward than the last. "And another vote which would further divide our country at the very moment we should be working to unite it." New Brexit poll logical outcome - Blair There were reports in the Sunday newspapers that two of Mrs May's key allies were planning for another referendum, in the event that her deal cannot get MPs' backing. Both men - Downing Street chief of staff Gavin Barwell and Mrs May's de facto deputy David Lidington - distanced themselves from the reports. Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionConfused by Brexit jargon? Reality Check unpacks the basics. Separately, more than 60 MPs from various parties have written to the PM urging her to rule out a no-deal Brexit, saying it would do "unnecessary economic damage" to manufacturers in their constituencies. Speaking in the Commons, ex-minister Jonathan Djanogly said the UK was "haemorrhaging support and investment" while Oliver Heald said the EU's "patronising" attitude to the UK betrayed a lack of urgency to prevent the disruption of a disorderly Brexit. View the full article

BBC: Brexit: What happens next may have to be put to MPs' vote - Fox

Brexit: What happens next may have to be put to MPs' vote - Fox 16 December 2018 Related TopicsBrexit Image copyright AFP If Theresa May's Brexit deal isn't passed by MPs, then Parliament might have to decide what to do next, cabinet minister Liam Fox has said. The senior Brexiteer said the PM's deal was unlikely to pass through Parliament unless the backstop issue was resolved. He said one option could be a "free vote" for MPs. One option being widely suggested is another referendum - but Mr Fox told the Andrew Marr Show this was unlikely and would not "heal division". Other options backed by different groups of MPs include leaving without a deal, another referendum, or Norway or Canada-style alternative deals. Norway has a very close relationship with the EU but is not a member, while Canada has an extensive trade deal with the bloc. New Brexit poll 'logical outcome' says Blair Reality check: Another EU referendum Education Secretary Damian Hinds has also suggested "flushing out" the levels of Parliamentary support for different Brexit options. But he told BBC Radio5Live's Pienaar's Politics a straightforward count of who has spoken for or against different options would reveal there was not a majority for any of them. And Lib Dem MP Tom Brake, who is part of the anti-Brexit "Best for Britain" campaign, said: "When even Dr Fox does not rule out free votes and encourages the idea of indicative votes in Parliament, the Brexit project is clearly in jeopardy." Analysis By BBC political correspondent Chris Mason What we are witnessing is a bursting out in public of conversations that have been happening for a while, at a senior level, in private. They can be summarised like this: 'What on earth do we do next?' One idea, now floated by three cabinet ministers in public, and others privately, is a series of so called "indicative votes". These would flush out Parliament's view on a range of options which could include different models of Brexit: something akin to Norway's relationship with the EU for instance, or Canada's looser one. Another referendum and no deal are other possibilities. Some ponder doing this before the vote on the prime minister's deal, in the hope it highlights that her plan is the only workable Brexit deal achievable now. "Things are not as hopeless as they look," one cabinet minister told me. But when I wished them a merry Christmas and a happy new year, that word 'happy' was met with a wry smile. None of this is remotely straight forward. On the possibility of another referendum, International Trade Secretary Mr Fox said one could result in a narrow Remain win on a lower turnout, in which case, "People like me will be immediately demanding that it's best of three - where does that end up?" It comes after Theresa May accused former Labour PM Tony Blair of undermining Brexit negotiations by calling for another referendum amid continuing calls for one to be held to solve the impasse over the UK's exit from the European Union. Mrs May met EU leaders on Thursday - after postponing a Commons vote on the withdrawal deal she has negotiated, fearing its heavy defeat. The government says the Commons vote will go ahead in January, as talks continue with the EU on the issue of the Irish border "backstop". Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionConfused by Brexit jargon? Reality Check unpacks the basics. The backstop is an "insurance policy" in the withdrawal deal to prevent the return of a hard border with Northern Ireland if no trade deal is reached - but many of Mrs May's MPs say they cannot support it, arguing it would keep the UK tied to EU rules indefinitely and curb its ability to strike trade deals. EU leaders have said the deal is "not open for renegotiation" - but that there could be some further clarification. Mr Fox said talks would continue over Christmas and the new year about how the backstop could work "in a way that is acceptable to both sides". He said it was "clear" that the EU understood the problem, and it was now a question of finding a "mechanism" that would remove MPs' concerns, without which, he suggested it would not be worth putting it to a Commons vote "knowing it would be rejected". If the deal could not get through the Commons, he said: "Parliament would have to decide on the alternatives." On Saturday, former minister Jo Johnson accused Mrs May of delaying the vote by MPs as a way of "running down the clock", effectively forcing MPs to decide between backing her deal and exiting the EU with no deal since time would have run out. Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionTony Blair tells Today the EU would help the UK remain if it was "prepared to think again" Meanwhile, Labour frontbencher Andrew Gwynne told the BBC his party would be trying to bring the MPs' "meaningful vote" on the deal forward to this week. The Labour leadership is under pressure from other opposition parties to call for a vote of no confidence in the government. But Mr Gwynne said: "We can't move to the next stage until Parliament has decided whether or not to back the prime minister's deal." Asked whether his party would campaign for Brexit under a Labour deal if there were to be another referendum, he said: "Let's wait and see. These things are moving very quickly. "We are a democratic party and we will put our decision to the party members in a democratic way before we decide what the next steps are." On Thursday about 10 Labour MPs met David Lidington - who is Mrs May's de facto second-in-command - to argue for another public vote. Sources close to Mr Lidington said it was "pretty standard stuff" and he was not "planning for or advocating a second referendum". Please upgrade your browser Your guide to Brexit jargon Enter the word or phrase you are looking for Search Labour's official position is to argue for a general election if Mrs May's deal cannot get through the Commons but to keep all options open if that doesn't happen - including another referendum. Anti-Brexit Labour backbencher Chuka Umunna told the BBC it was time to "clear the decks" and hold the MPs' vote on the deal before moving on to "consider the other options". He said there was no majority for another referendum in the Commons at the moment but said: "I think the position of members of Parliament will change, according to what happens." View the full article

BBC: Theresa May condemns Tony Blair's new Brexit vote call

Theresa May condemns Tony Blair's new Brexit vote call 16 December 2018 Related TopicsBrexit Image copyright Getty Images/PA Theresa May has attacked one of her predecessors - accusing Tony Blair of "undermining" the Brexit talks by calling for another referendum. She called his comments an "insult to the office he once held" and said MPs could not "abdicate responsibility" to deliver Brexit by holding a new poll. Mr Blair said MPs might back a new vote if "none of the other options work". It comes after Labour MPs who support the idea met Cabinet Office Minister David Lidington to make their case. About 10 MPs met Mr Lidington on Thursday to argue for another public vote and make it clear there was no other government plan they could support. But many senior Labour figures are deeply uneasy about endorsing another referendum. And the government is opposed to any further referendum, saying the public made a clear choice when they voted in 2016 to leave by a margin of 51.9% to 48.1%. Kuenssberg: An issue of trust Theresa May's week in charts Reality Check: Does Brussels blink? New Brexit poll logical outcome - Blair BBC political correspondent Chris Mason said Mrs May's criticism of Mr Blair was striking for its anger. Mrs May said: "For Tony Blair to go to Brussels and seek to undermine our negotiations by advocating for a second referendum is an insult to the office he once held and the people he once served. "We cannot, as he would, abdicate responsibility for this decision. "Parliament has a democratic duty to deliver what the British people voted for." She added that there were "too many people who want to subvert the process for their own political interests - rather than acting in the national interest". Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionTony Blair tells Today the EU would help the UK remain if it was "prepared to think again" MPs were due to vote on Mrs May's Brexit deal on Tuesday, but it was postponed when the prime minister admitted it would have been "rejected by a significant margin". After postponing the vote in Parliament, Mrs May travelled to Brussels to make a special plea to EU leaders, in a bid to make her deal more acceptable to MPs. However, the EU said there could be clarification but not renegotiation. Many of Mrs May's MPs are concerned that the "backstop" - which is aimed at preventing a hard border in Northern Ireland - would keep the UK tied to EU rules and limit its ability to strike trade deals. Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionTheresa May: 'If we are to leave with a deal this is it' Meanwhile, in an interview with the Sunday Telegraph, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has said the UK will "flourish and prosper" even if it leave the EU with no deal. "We've faced much bigger challenges in our history," he said. "But we shouldn't pretend that there wouldn't be disruption, there wouldn't be risk, and there wouldn't be impact and that's why as a responsible government we have to make all the preparations necessary." He also said he wanted a "crack" at succeeding Mrs May after the PM takes the country through "this challenging next few months". His comments come after Mrs May made it clear she would step down before the next general election - due in 2022. View the full article

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