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My Brexit deal means better future, May to insist

By David Hughes

Theresa May will insist her Brexit deal sets the UK on course for a "better future outside the EU" as MPs begin a marathon debate on her plan.

The Prime Minister faces widespread opposition from MPs across the Commons - including both the Leave and Remain wings of her own party - ahead of the vote on the deal, due to take place on December 11.

At the start of five days of debate in the Commons, Mrs May will stress the need to respect the result of the 2016 referendum and suggest that backing her deal will help reunite a divided nation.

Over the coming days she will deploy senior Cabinet ministers to make the case, with Chancellor Philip Hammond, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt and Home Secretary Sajid Javid expected to appear at the despatch box.

Mrs May is expected to say that the "pooling of sovereignty" of the kind involved in European Union membership "can only be sustained with the consent of the people".

"In the referendum of 2016, the biggest democratic exercise in our history, the British public withdrew that consent," she will say.

"They confirmed that choice a year later by voting overwhelmingly for parties that committed to delivering Brexit."

She will say that to respect the referendum would require "a Brexit that takes back control of our borders, laws and money" and "a Brexit that sets ourselves on course for a better future outside the EU, as a globally trading nation, in charge of our own destiny and seizing the opportunities of trade with some of the fastest-growing and most dynamic economies across the world".

The Prime Minister will assert that her Brexit deal, thrashed out with the European Union over months of negotiations in Brussels, delivers on her commitments to end free movement and the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice.

It will also ultimately result in "a new free trade area with no tariffs, fees, quantitative restrictions or rules of origin checks - an unprecedented economic relationship that no other major economy has".

Today's first day of debate will be closed by Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay. Tomorrow, the second day of debate, will focus on security, with Mr Javid opening the discussions and Mr Hunt closing it.

Thursday's debate will be on the economy, with Mr Hammond opening it and International Trade Secretary Liam Fox winding up.

Yesterday, Mrs May and Nicola Sturgeon held talks on Brexit, with the Prime Minister urging the First Minister to listen to Scottish business leaders over her deal.

A Downing Street spokesman said: "The Prime Minister spoke about the support she has received from fishermen, farmers and business leaders - like Sir Ian Wood - who back the deal as it gives them the clarity and certainty they need to protect jobs and living standards."

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