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Brexit: Government to publish forecasts comparing May's deal with remaining in EU

Ashley Cowburn
Monday 19 November 2018 09:35
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Theresa May on leadership dispute: 'a change of leadership isn't going to make the negotiations any easier'

MPs have forced the government to agree to publish analysis comparing the economic impact of Theresa May's Brexit deal with remaining the European Union.

Before MPs vote on Ms May's Brexit deal, the government will have to publish an analysis comparing the impact of the proposed agreement with the consequences of the alternative scenarios of a no-deal Brexit and remaining in the EU.

The cross-party amendment was backed by more than 70 MPs from six political parties, including enough Tory rebels to deprive Ms May of her majority.

Facing a certain defeat in the Commons, ministers caved and agreed to accept the motion.

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Welcome to The Independent's politics liveblog - where we will be bringing you the latest updates from Westminster.

Stories regarding Theresa May's future as prime minister are dominating the news bulletins this morning once more, with reports that the 48 letters of no confidence required to trigger a vote is perilously close.

Speaking this morning on Radio 4, Simon Clarke, one Tory MP who publicly said he has submitted a letter of no confidence to the 1922 committee of backbench Conservative MPs, said: "It is quite clear to me that the captain is driving the ship at the rocks."

Ashley Cowburn19 November 2018 08:32
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Not everyone is out this morning calling for a confidence vote in the PM - some Tory MPs are out on the airwaves saying such a move would be an 'unnecessary distraction'. 

Therese Coffey - the Conservative MP for Suffolk Coastal, also said that Ms May would win any vote "convincingly".

She said: "Coming out without a trade deal in March would lead to, frankly, quite a lot of disruption to businesses and jobs.

"Meanwhile the negotiation, the future political declaration, already sets freedom of movement comes to an end, the ECJ will not be our supreme court.

"We will be able to negotiate our own free trade deals around the world, everything that was promised in the Brexit referendum will be delivered in that future trade deal.

"I recognise it is not what's delivered in the withdrawal agreement, but Brexit is coming."

Ashley Cowburn19 November 2018 08:53
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Arriving at the General Affairs Council meeting in Brussels, Luxembourg's foreign minister, Jean Asselborn, said: "Boris Johnson once said 'Britain is leaving the EU, It is not leaving Europe'.

"I think the challenge now is for these Brexit dogmatists to show whether that is true.

"I think Theresa May deserves praise for her position. 'No deal is better than a bad deal' has disappeared. 'Any deal is better than no deal' is now the slogan. That is right.

"This deal that is now on the table is the best there is. There is no better deal for this crazy Brexit."

Ashley Cowburn19 November 2018 08:57
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Greg Clark, the business secretary, has told Radio 4's Today programme that it makes sense to extend the transition period - due to end in December 2020.

Pressed on whether it would be until the end of 2022, Mr Clark told the BBC: "It would be at our request and that would be a maximum period."

Mr Clark suggested it could be extended for a matter of "weeks or months", saying: "If we were six weeks away from concluding a future economic partnership and agreeing that then it may make sense to extend the transition period."

Ashley Cowburn19 November 2018 09:13
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