UK PM defends Brexit deal amid attacks

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Theresa May has defended her proposed Brexit deal in the Commons in the face of sustained criticism from the opposition and many Conservative MPs.

She said the deal delivered on the result of the EU referendum – and MPs will get to vote on it on 11 December.

But she admitted she was not “entirely happy” with the “backstop” contingency plan to avoid a hard border in Ireland.

Jeremy Corbyn said “ploughing on” with a deal opposed by the public and MPs was an “act of national self-harm”.

The Labour leader suggested Parliament would have “little choice” but to reject the deal when MPs vote on it.

A host of former Tory cabinet ministers, including Iain Duncan Smith, Boris Johnson, Owen Paterson, Michael Fallon and Dominic Grieve, also said the deal was unsatisfactory, during the two-and-half hour debate.

Mrs May faces an uphill struggle to persuade MPs to accept the terms of the withdrawal agreement – and a political declaration on future relations between the EU and UK – approved by EU leaders on Sunday.