Theresa May on the latest on Brexit

BBC - Theresa May has said the UK will not get a "better deal" from the EU if MPs reject the agreement she has struck.

She told a BBC phone-in that there would be just "more division and uncertainty" if Parliament voted against the agreement next month.

But she declined to say whether the UK would be better off outside the EU, saying only it would be "different".

A summit of EU leaders to sign off the deal will go ahead on Sunday despite "unresolved" issues over Gibraltar.

Spain is seeking written assurances from the UK that it will be directly consulted over its future trade negotiations with the EU which relate to Gibraltar, a British Overseas Territory.

Its prime minister Pedro Sanchez has said he won't decide whether to attend Sunday's summit until these are provided.

He has said his backing for the overall deal cannot be taken for granted although no one country can block the withdrawal agreement on its own at this stage.

The PM is taking to the airwaves to make the case for the agreement, which is opposed by Labour and many Tory MPs.

She told the Emma Barnett Show that her job was to persuade MPs to back her but also to "explain" the merits of the deal to the public.

Asked what would happen if MPs rejected the deal, she said "there would just be more division and more uncertainty", with people using the opportunity to "stop and frustrate Brexit".

"From my point of view, personally, there is no question of 'no Brexit' because the government needs to deliver on what people voted on in the referendum in 2016," she said.

"I believe if we were to go back to the European Union and say: Well people didn't like that deal, can we have another one? ... I don't think they're going to come to us and say: We'll give you a better deal."

Asked if the UK would be better off outside the EU under her deal than staying in, she said that as someone who voted to Remain, she had never said the "sky would fall in" if Brexit happens.

"I think we will be better off in a situation which we'll have outside the European Union, where we have control of all those things, and are able to trade around the rest of the world," she told the caller, Michael.

She added: "You say: Are we better off?... actually it's a different sort of environment, and a different approach that we'll be taking to things."

Pressed by Emma Barnett to answer the question, she said "it is going to be different," before adding: "We can build a better future outside the European Union."

Mrs May has said a Brexit deal is "within our grasp" after the UK and EU agreed in principle the framework for their future relations - outlining how UK-EU trade, security and other issues would work - on Thursday.

She said she would be touring the country to "explain" the merits of the deal to people who she said wanted to get Brexit over with.

Thursday's document on future relations, known as the "political declaration", is not legally-binding but will be the starting point for negotiations on co-operation after the UK leaves. It has been heavily criticised by many MPs for lacking detail.

This is a separate document to the withdrawal agreement - setting out the terms of the UK's exit from the EU, including the £39bn "divorce bill", citizens' rights and the Northern Ireland "backstop" to keep the border with the Republic of Ireland open, if trade talks stall. This agreement will be legally-binding.

Former Brexit secretary Dominic Raab said what was on offer in the political declaration was inferior to EU membership, as it would leave the UK bound by the same rules but without control over them.

He told BBC Radio 4's Today the current proposal would be "debilitating" for the UK economy and its ability to negotiate independent trade deals would virtually disappear.

The prime minister's official spokesman denied the deal was worse than EU membership, saying: "This delivers on the vote of the British people."

Comments (5)

Best deal for Britain , Ireland and the EU. The future is financially sound.

Gareth Mckommick - 24 November 2018

Immigration will be managed properly , its a good deal. Criminals that are paid by some EU countries to transport illegal immigrants across the Mediterranean that end up in Great Britain will go out of business.

James McKenzie - 24 November 2018

We must be careful of British passport holders entering our countries. 80% of global terrorism is linked to Britain or the passport holders of all races . Let those terrorist not misuse the Irish ticket , which has become a better option.

Order ahead - 23 December 2018


Order order... - 23 December 2018

We r expecting more knife crimes and deaths of black teens in London after the exit date. Adults will be victims too , some glenfell like kills , and more than 50000 migrants will be homeless in the capital. Are there no Tory funders and backers living in other countries , outside the UK ?, they are loads

Good brexiter - 24 December 2018

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