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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 12 December 2018

Theresa May urges MPs to back Brexit deal

She warned the alternative was "Division and uncertainty"

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May makes a statement in the House of Commons, London, Britain November 26, 2018. Parliament TV handout via REUTERS FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May makes a statement in the House of Commons, London, Britain November 26, 2018. Parliament TV handout via REUTERS FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS

Following a weekend Brexit deal with Brussels, Prime Minister Theresa May attempted to rally MPs of all shades on Monday behind the controversial compromise with a warning of “division and uncertainty' if it is rejected.

Mrs May has mobilised the government to sell the pact with a nationwide tour planned as well as handing down on orders to every minister to sell her deal to those affected by their ministerial brief.

In a statement in the House of Commons in which she insisted that rejecting the deal “would open the door to more division and more uncertainty, with all the risks that will entail,” and that such an event would take the UK “back to square one”.

She described the deal as “an unprecedented economic relationship that no other major economy has” but admitted “neither side –Britain or the EU – were entirely happy” with the outcome of months of negotiations.

“The British people want us to get on with a deal that honours the referendum and allows us to come together again as a country, whichever way we voted,” she said.

Mrs May was also making efforts to reach out to opposition MPs with her de facto deputy David Lidington and her chief of staff Gavin Barwell set to brief Labour MPs on the agreement in a meeting in parliament on Monday night - an effort to win them round for the vote anticipated in mid-December.

Mrs May has also been accused of selling out over the issue of Gibraltar. The criticism came after a note written by Tim Barrow, the UK's ambassador to the European Union, suggested that any future trade deal between Britain and the EU would not automatically include Gibraltar, leaving the island potentially vulnerable to Spanish demands in negotiation.

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A spokesperson for Mrs May also hit back at French President Emmanuel Macron over comments that, in the event of no deal, Britain would be forced to allow the EU access to fisheries.

“If the UK enters into the backstop we will be outside of the Common Fishery Policy and have full control of whether French fisherman can enter our waters,” a spokesperson said.

Brexit will cut the value of the U.K. economy by 100 billion pounds ($128 billion) a year by 2030 compared with staying in the European Union, according to research commissioned by the People’s Vote, a group campaigning against leaving the bloc.

The study, by think tank Niesr, is the first analysis of Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal which she will start selling to U.K. politicians this week. The deal was signed off on Sunday by EU leaders, who said it can’t be renegotiated.