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As PM faces 'critical week'

May holds more Brexit talks as Corbyn rules out second vote

Theresa May on Sky NewsTheresa May: ‘I haven’t thought of giving up’

Theresa May admitted today that the next seven days are “going to be critical” as she heads to Brussels for further talks with key figures including Jean-Claude Juncker, the European Commission president.

She also said that “as far I know” the number of letters sent to backbench committee chairman Sir Graham Brady had not reached the required 48 in order to trigger a vote of no confidence in her leadership.

Asked in an interview with Sky News if she had thought about giving up, she replied: “No, I haven’t. Of course it’s been a tough week. These negotiations have been difficult from the start.

“But this is not about me, it’s about what’s in the national interest,” she said.

She explained that there were two parts to the deal: the ‘leaving’ deal and the ‘future’ deal that will shape Britain’s relationship with Europe and “is what we are working on’.

Asked about the backstop on the Ireland issue, which her former Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab struggled with, she described it as “an insurance policy”, adding: “There’s an assumption that this is the only option on the table – and it’s not.”

She said Britain can choose whether to have that backstop or extend the implementation period.

Ms May was not asked about the Scottish government’s views on Brexit nor the independence debate.

Mrs May defended her draft agreement in an interview with the Sun on Sunday. She said:  “There is no alternative plan on the table. There is no different approach that we could agree with the EU.”

She said if MPs rejected the deal which they are expected to vote on next month, they would “simply take us back to square one”.

“It would mean more division, more uncertainty and a failure to deliver on the vote of the British people.”

Jeremy Corbyn on Sky News

Jeremy Corbyn: ‘we can’t stop Brexit’


Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, also interviewed by Sky News, said the Prime Minister’s Brexit agreement does not meet the needs of the country and that she should renegotiate the terms.

He said Mrs May will not get the draft agreement through parliament and that it fails on environment rights, consumers’ rights and workers’ rights. He said it will not solve the Irish issue and would create a border down the Irish Sea.

He said Britain needed a deal that included a customs union with its biggest trading partner.

Asked whether Brexit can be stopped, he said: “We [Labour] could not stop it because we don’t have the votes in Parliament to do so.”

Regarding another referendum, he replied: “It’s an option for the future but not an option for today,” he said.

Mr Corbyn said he voted Remain in the 2016 referendum but if there were to be another, he said: “I don’t know how I would vote – what the options would be at that time.”

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