May says draft Brexit deal delivers on vote of British people

AFP , Wednesday 14 Nov 2018

Theresa May
Britain's Prime Minister, Theresa May, leaves 10 Downing Street, in London, Britain November 14, 2018 (Photo: Reuters)

British Prime Minister Theresa May told parliament on Wednesday that a draft Brexit deal struck by British and EU negotiators delivered on the result of the 2016 referendum.

"What we have been negotiating is a deal that does deliver on the vote of the British people," May told rowdy MPs after a barrage of criticism from hardliners in her own Conservative Party who said the agreement included unacceptable compromises.

In the referendum, 52 percent voted for Britain to leave the European Union after four decades of membership.

The government has said Britain will also leave the European single market and customs union.

Britain is set to leave the European Union on March 29, 2019.

May defended her agreement in front of MPs saying it would guarantee an end to unlimited immigration from the EU and would allow Britain to set its own trade policy.

She said the agreement included a backstop to avoid a hard border in Ireland but added that this would be a temporary "insurance policy" if no future relationship is agreed.

"We want to bring the future relationship into place at the end of December 2020," she said.

But Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the main opposition Labour Party, said the agreement "breaches the prime minister's own red lines" and said negotiations with Brussels had been "shambolic".

"This government spent two years negotiating a bad deal that will leave the country in an indefinite half-way house," he said.

Conservative MP Peter Bone, a leading pro-Brexit lawmaker, also criticised May.

"You are not delivering the Brexit people voted for and today you will lose the support of many Conservative MPs and millions of voters," Bone said.

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