EU Leaders Approve Theresa May's Brexit Deal At Emergency Summit

Now the PM has to win the vote in parliament.
Agencia EFE

European Union leaders have endorsed the Brexit deal, as the UK was warned it would not get a better agreement if parliament rejected it.

The decision was made in under an hour at the emergency summit in Brussels on Sunday morning.

Theresa May now has the seemingly impossible task of winning support for her deal in the Commons.

European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker warned Theresa May she cannot expect to get a better deal if MPs vote down her plan.

“This is the deal. It’s the best deal possible and the EU will not change its fundamental position when it comes to these issues,” he said.

It was reported this morning that Remain-leaning Cabinet ministers have begun secret talks on a Brexit “Plan B” if the deal is rejected by parliament.

And Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte wo urged MPs to give their approval in next month’s expected “meaningful vote” in the Commons.

“This is the deal on the table. I don’t think there is anything more now. I don’t want to contemplate a no vote. I think there will be a yes vote,” he said.

The Sunday Times reported that Chancellor Philip Hammond – who warned on Saturday of “economic chaos” if there is no deal – is working with David Lidington, Amber Rudd, Greg Clark and David Gauke on trying to persuade May to adopt a softer Brexit which may be able to get through Parliament if her plan is rejected.

The Sunday Telegraph also reported that “several senior ministers” were working on plans for a Norway-style relationship with the EU.

May has warned that MPs have a choice between her deal, leaving the EU with no deal or Brexit not happening at all.

In a “letter to the nation” published today, the PM said leaving the EU on March 29 2019 would mark “a new chapter in our national life”.

She said there would be a moment of “renewal and reconciliation” after the bitter battles over Europe.

The almost 800-word message is an attempt to speak directly to the public to build support for her deal, which faces widespread opposition at Westminster including from both wings of her Conservative Party and the Democratic Unionist Party which props up her administration.

In a sign of the trouble ahead for the prime minister, former Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan Smith told Sky News today it would be “very, very difficult” to support the deal arguing “far too much has been given to the EU”.


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