The Prime Minister will today tell MPs to back her Brexit plan otherwise they risk pushing the country back “to square one” after EU leaders finally signed off on the historic deal hammered out in Brussels.
Theresa May insisted the landmark agreement delivered on the promises of the EU referendum as she set the stage for a Commons showdown with her critics.
After the leaders of the remaining 27 member states, meeting in the Belgian capital, took less than 40 minutes to approve the deal, she confirmed she would now put it to a vote of MPs before Christmas.
And today she is set to face her critics in the House of Commons today where she will provide an update on the EU Special Council.
She will say: “This has been a long and complex negotiation. It has required give and take on both sides.
“And I can say to the House with absolute certainty that there is not a better deal available. My fellow leaders were very clear on that themselves yesterday.”
And as EU leaders lined up to insist that there could be no renegotiation, Mrs May said the public was fed up of wrangling over Brexit and wanted to move on.
The PM will add in her address today: “We can back this deal, deliver on the vote of the referendum and move on to
building a brighter future of opportunity and prosperity for all our people.
“Or this House can choose to reject this deal and go back to square one. [...] It would open the door to more division and more uncertainty, with all the risks that will entail. Mr Speaker, I believe our national interest is clear.
“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.
“This is that deal. A deal that delivers for the British people.”
However, with more than 80 Tory MPs declaring publicly that they intend to vote against the plan, Mrs May faces an uphill battle to make the parliamentary arithmetic add up.
Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt insisted she could carry on as Prime Minister if she was defeated.
“Absolutely she can,” he told BBC1’s The Andrew Marr Show.
However pressed on whether the Government could collapse, he acknowledged: “It’s not possible to rule out anything.”
Jeremy Corbyn confirmed that Labour would be voting against the agreement, denouncing it as a “bad deal” for Britain.
“It is the result of a miserable failure of negotiation that leaves us with the worst of all worlds,” he said. Mrs May refused to be drawn on whether she would stand down if she lost the vote, despite being repeatedly pressed during her end of summit press conference.
“I am focusing on ensuring that I make a case for this deal to MPs,” she said.