Brexit

Theresa May says Brexit negotiations in 'final stages' as border issue remains unresolved

Theresa May updates MPs on Brexit negotiations 

British prime minister Theresa May has updated the House of Commons on the latest developments in the Brexit negotiations, saying the talks were entering the "final stages", comments which prompted laughter from some MPs.

Mrs May said: "This is the time for cool, calm heads to prevail and it's the time for a clear-eyed focus on the few remaining but critical issues that are still to be agreed."

The prime minister said there had been a "great deal of inaccurate speculation" about how the talks were progressing.

She told MPs "real progress" had been made on the withdrawal agreement and the political declaration on future relations.

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Mrs May said progress had been made on the north but two problems remain - the EU's demands over the Northern Ireland backstop and the need for a time limit.

Mrs May said she believed a deal was still within reach.

She told MPs: "I continue to believe that a negotiated deal is the best outcome for the UK and for the European Union.

"I continue to believe that such a deal is achievable.

"And that is the spirit in which I will continue to work with our European partners."

Jeremy Corbyn urged Mrs May to "put the country before her party" and stand up to the "reckless voices" on the Conservative benches.

Amid heated scenes in the Commons, the Labour leader said: "For too long this country has been held hostage to those in her party who want to drive through a race to the bottom Brexit deal that lowers rights and standards, sells off our national assets to the lowest bidder.

"It is clear that the prime minister's failure to stand up to the warring factions of her own side have led to this impasse."

Mr Corbyn said Mrs May's "blindfold Brexit" was a "bridge to nowhere" and a "dangerous leap in the dark".

He added: "The choice for this Parliament should never be her deal or no deal: if this Government cannot get a good deal for this country then it has to make way for those who can.

"The prime minister faces a simple and inescapable choice: be buffeted this way and that way by the chaos of her own party, or back a deal that can win the support of Parliament and the people of this country."

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