16:17 GMT01 December 2020
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    UK Prime Minister Theresa May is responding to questions from members of parliament in the Commons, following her cabinet's approval of a draft divorce agreement between the UK and EU, as well as several high-level resignations. Just four days remain before the deal is to be signed.

    Addressing the House of Commons on Wednesday, UK Prime Minister Theresa May said the draft deal she has secured will allow Britain to maintain close relations with the EU while also giving the government flexibility in setting its independent trade policy with other international partners. 

    She stressed that the UK is not leaving Europe and wants to retain close economic and security ties with its European partners. 

    "We continue to negotiate on that future relationship to get the good deal that we believe is right for the United Kingdom," May said during the weekly session of Prime Minister's Questions (PMQs.) 

    PM May added the her government will either extend the implementation period, turn to the backstop, or seek "alternative arrangements" if the future relationship agreement isn't ready in time. 

    She also accused Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn of "playing party politics" by simply opposing the deal, insisting he will oppose any withdrawal agreement to hurt the Tory Party.

    "He hasn't even read it. He doesn't know what's in it… We talk about a second referendum, he [Corbyn] hasn't even got a first clue," the prime minister said on Wednesday. 

    Reacting, Corbyn said MPs will vote down the deal, urging the government to negotiate and present a new agreement or stand down and pave the way for "someone who can." 

    READ MORE: EU is Deliberately Turning 'Brexit' Into True Nightmare for UK – Economist

    Commenting on Britain's divorce payment to the EU, almost £40 billion, PM May stressed that the figure is significantly lower than the £100 billion the EU initially demanded. 

    Moreover, she claimed the draft withdrawal deal protects British jobs and is firmly in the "national interest," reaffirming the Britain will be pulling out of the bloc in March, 2019. 

    When asked by an MP if she will consider holding a fresh referendum if her deal doesn't get through parliament, May insisted the electorate has already made a democratic decision on the matter via the 2016 vote. 

    The prime minister insisted the government will not exclude Gibraltar from future relationship negotiations, describing the UK as "steadfast in our support" for the territory, adding that they must secure a deal that works for Gibraltar. 

    The draft agreement between the UK and EU, the result of two years of tough talks, has been widely criticized by both Tory and Labour MPs.

    However, Theresa May has received support for her draft Brexit deal from British businesses, despite suffering a string of cabinet resignations. The UK prime minister voiced a determination to "deliver" the deal in her speech to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) on 19 November.

    Her statement, though, comes amid a threat to her leadership, which is still menacing ahead of the crucial EU Brexit summit on November 25.

    Follow Sputnik's live feed to find out more.


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