May said that if her deal was voted down, there would be more uncertainty or it could risk no Brexit at all.
Corbyn asked if last weeks withdrawal text was the final one. May said the Brexit package was made up of two parts: the withdrawal agreement had been agreed in principle, but there was also the future relationship document. The whole lot would be discussed by the EU on Sunday.
Jeremy Corbyn and Nicola Sturgeon team up in bid to block draft Brexit deal
Corbyn said the Brexit secretary was not going to Brussels. Was the post now just ceremonial? He also asked how much it would cost the UK to prolong the transition.
Sturgeon said: If thats moving towards a permanent single market, customs union, thats what the SNP has been arguing for for the last two years and thats one of the options that potentially we can build a majority around. Its not the only option, but its one of them, and the more options weve got on the table right now the better.
Brexit latest: Fresh heat on Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May for Peoples Vote on final deal
May said they were talking about the Irish backstop. She said she wanted to avoid a hard border by getting the future relationship in place. There might be a backstop, or there might be an extension of the implementation period. But there could also be alternative arrangements to avoid a hard border.
Corbyn said the UK would have to pay. The Canada deal took seven years, the Singapore deal eight years. Did May think she was fooling anyone when she said a final relationship would be decided by December 2020?
Brexit: SNP is ready to back a soft exit deal
May said the problem Corbyn had with this deal was that he had not even read it. He was opposed to any deal, no matter how good it was. But he would accept any EU deal, however bad. And he would use the transition period to renegotiate the withdrawal agreement. He had said there might be a referendum, but he did not even know what the question was.
Corbyn said Mays government had got Britain into this mess. May knew full well that, with a European parliament not in place until the summer, there was less than a year for the negotiations for a future trade deal. May had said no PM would agree a customs border down the Irish Sea, but the backstop would create that.
May said Corbyn was wrong. The EU had given way on a Northern Ireland-only backstop. She said it was clear Corbyn did not know the agreement. Never mind a second referendum; Corbyn didnt have a first clue.
Corbyn said there was an entire protocol referring just to Northern Ireland. May had not discussed this with the DUP. He said the deal failed Mays red lines and Labours six tests. And it failed to impress the new Northern Ireland minister, who said the deal was dead. Wasnt it the case that parliament would reject the deal? If May couldnt get it through, she should make way, he said.
Video: Andrew Rosindell: May, cut away EUs tentacles
May said the public had given her an instruction, and Corbyn wanted to play party politics. He was opposing a deal he hadnt read, promising a deal he could not negotiate, and telling leave voters one thing and remain voters another. Whatever Corbyn said, she would act in the national interest.
But, just as May has dithered and delayed for more than two years, so too have those among the SNP, Conservatives and Labour who say they wish to save the UK from Brexits contradictions and serious potential for economic catastrophe. When historians come to write about this period of British politics, surely one of the central questions will be why so little was achieved by all sides in the period after the EU referendum.
That was Mays best PMQs exchange with Corbyn for quite some time. In recent weeks he has frequently had her on the back foot on this topic, but this time she got the better of the Labour leader relatively easily.
Corbyn had good points to make about the cost of extending the transition, and the time allowed for the trade negotiation only being about a year, but he tripped up with his fifth question when he muddled up a customs border down the Irish Sea (which is not in the withdrawal agreement) with a regulatory border (which is). It was a fairly basic mistake, obvious to anyone with only GCSE-level Brexitology, and all the more surprising because this issue has dominated Brexit news coverage in recent weeks. May couldnt believe her luck.
The complaint that Corbyn hadnt read the 560-page text in full was a cheap and shallow one (no sensible person in his position would), but his customs error meant that when May made this point repeatedly, it had some force. Her summary of the charge against Labours stance on Brexit in response to the final answer was particularly crisp (which is not to say the case against her Brexit stance is much more damning), but she also got through the session because she actually made news. In her response to Corbyns first question, she specifically rejected what Amber Rudd had said on BBC Radio 4s Today programme earlier, and revived her claim that voting against her deal could lead to the UK staying in the EU.
Video: May Says Blocking Brexit Deal Could Thwart Divorce
Theresa May Says Brexit Is Definitely Happening Despite Also Saying It Might Not
The new Brexit secretary is another non-travelling Brexit secretary and is apparently not going with her. I wonder if the post is now an entirely ceremonial one.
All he wants to do is to play politics. He is opposing a deal he hasnt read, he is promising a deal he cant negotiate, he is telling leave voters one thing and remain voters another. Whatever [he] might do, I will act in the national interest.
The SNP should work with Conservative MPs to secure a soft Brexit deal that can get through the Commons, Nicola Sturgeon said yesterday.
The Scottish first minister indicated that she was actively interested in a plan being drawn up by Nick Boles, a former Tory minister who has been holding discussions with MPs from all parties. His proposal would keep the UK in the single market and customs union possibly indefinitely if Mrs Mays blueprint fails to win the necessary support in the Commons next month.
The plan would retain almost all of Mrs Mays deal but would keep the UK inside existing structures, which Mr Boles hopes would make it easy to negotiate. It would mean keeping free movement of EU citizens.
PMQs: Prime Minister rejects plea to work with Nicola Sturgeon on alternative Brexit plan
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