Theresa May embarks on United Kingdom tour in Brexit deal blitz

Theresa May's Brexit deal has been attacked as the "worst of all worlds" by one of her staunchest allies, who also said a trade deal warning by US President Donald Trump should not be ignored.

"If you look at the political declaration which sets out the future framework for our relationship with the European Union, it clearly identifies that we will have an independent trade policy and we will be able to do trade deals, negotiate trade deals with countries around the rest of the world", May said, speaking to Sky News.

The US President said that the Withdrawal Agreement "sounds like a great deal for the EU".

"We will have an independent trade policy and we will be able to negotiate trade deals with countries around the rest of the world", May.

"That wouldn't be a good thing. I don't think they meant that".

May's comments come after US President Donald Trump added himself to the chorus of skeptics doubting her proposal - saying it isn't clear if the agreement will allow a US-UK trading partnership.

Amid demands from British lawmakers for May to seek a better deal from the European Union, a step Brussels has said it will not countenance, her de-facto deputy David Lidington told Sky News: "If the vote were today, it would be a hard one to win, but I think that we have time between now and (Dec. 11) to make the case".

It added that a working group scoping out an "ambitious" trade deal with the United States has met five times already.

Trump's intervention caught Downing Street off-guard and is likely to weaken May's hand at a time when she is seeking to get the deal approved by parliament, where she faces determined resistance from 89 Tory backbenchers who argue the deal does not secure sufficient freedom of action for the UK.

The visit is part one of several fronts May's team are working on to build support ahead of the December 11 vote in parliament.

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Under the plans, to be set out in full this week, a motion on the deal will be put before parliament where MPs will have the opportunity to amend it before deciding whether to accept or reject the deal.

"It would open the door to more division and more uncertainty, with all the risks that will entail", she will warn lawmakers.

But her former defence secretary, Michael Fallon, until now an ally of May, said Trump's comment couldn't be ignored.

In her previous efforts, she also tried to win over members of parliament by mobilizing public and business opinion in favor of her Brexit deal.

The NIESR report was launched on Monday by the People's Vote campaign, which funded the study and is pushing for another Brexit referendum.

In a riposte to French President Emmanuel Macron's suggestion that the EU could delay trade talks unless its fishermen were granted access to United Kingdom waters, the PM said: "The EU have maintained throughout this process that they wanted to link overall access to markets to access fisheries".

Insisting what was agreed in Brussels was the best deal available, May said no one knows what would happen if it does not pass.

It comes as Mrs May heads for Wales and Northern Ireland to try to sell the deal she brought back from Brussels on Sunday as "good for the union".

But pro-Europeans hope that if the European court confirms that Britain has the right to stop the countdown then a third option would emerge: stopping Brexit altogether and remaining in the EU.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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