Trump says Brexit agreement bad for US-British trade, May disagrees

Prime Minister Theresa May warned yesterday that Britain would be thrust into the unknown if parliament rejects the Brexit deal she has negotiated with the European Union, as lawmakers from all sides lined up to criticise the agreement.

Trump said Monday the prospect that the plan could limit the UK's ability to trade with the U.S. after it exits the European Union on March 29, 2019, "wouldn't be a good thing". Because, you know, right now, if you look at the deal, they may not be able to trade with us ... And that wouldn't be a good thing.

But Downing Street sources said they were not aware of the Prime Minister seeking to speak to Labour MPs thought to be considering backing her deal.

Mr Varadkar said: "There isn't a plan B. What's being put in front of European Union parliament and House of Commons is a deal".

While Hawes said the Withdrawal Agreement's transition period would "step us back from the cliff edge", there had been no firm agreement on the future trade framework beyond that. "I am willing to stand up and explain why I think it is the best possible deal available for the United Kingdom".

The president caused Mrs May serious political embarrassment ahead of his visit to Britain in July when he said the PM's freshly-unveiled Chequers proposals could "kill" any UK-US trade deal.

May runs a minority Conservative government and opposition parties, as well as many of her own MPs, are against the deal.

On Tuesday morning, shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer wrote to the Government urging it to comply with the the House of Commons motion to publish the full legal advice on the Withdrawal Agreement in the next few days.

Speaking on a phone-in for London radio station LBC, Rees-Mogg accused proponents of the deal of spreading "scare stories" about the risks of rejecting the deal.

She said that "instead of an immigration system based on where a person comes from, we will build one based on the skills and talents a person has to offer".

"The message I have clearly heard here today from across the board - from the voluntary sector, from young people, from businesses, from the cultural sector, from academics - is the importance of that certainty and the importance of Parliament accepting that deal so we can move on to develop our future", she said.

According to the economic analysis revealed on Monday, May's Brexit deal is likely to result in substantial long-term economic costs in a range of 700 to 1,100 pounds ($900 to $1400) per person each year compared with staying in the EU.

May, who ducked televised debates during the 2017 snap general election, challenged Corbyn to a TV contest, nominally planned for Dec 9.

At present, Labour, Lib Dem, SNP and DUP politicians are poised to vote against the agreement and over 90 Tory MPs have publicly spoken out against it, meaning it may not receive the required majority for the bill to pass.

Brexit will cut the value of the United Kingdom 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.

  • Rogelio Becker