Theresa May accused of making Britain a 'laughing stock' over Brexit stance

Theresa May has reiterated that “no deal is better than a bad deal” and said she would be willing to “walk out” of Brexit negotiations with the European Union if a positive outcome can’t be secured.

The Prime Minister is attempting refocus her campaign after the social care u-turn calamity, by bringing Brexit back to the forefront of the debate.

The Conservative leader, who has seen her party’s commanding lead reduced to just five points over Labour, will relaunch her campaign today.

May made the ‘no deal’ comments during last night’s leadership debate, in which Jeremy Corbyn promised Labour would “make sure there is a deal.”

Labour’s Angela Rayner, the shadow education secretary, told Radio 4’s Today programme this morning that “no deal is a bad deal.”

The government has made the UK look “like ogres” and “a laughing stock” in the European Union, she added.

“Saying you’re going to be a bloody difficult woman right at the start of negotiations tends to make sure that you do get a bad deal,” she said.

Today, May will claim that “economic prosperity will suffer, jobs and livelihoods will be put at risk, and with them the security and peace of mind of working families” if the government fails to secure a successful Brexit negotiation.

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“If we don’t make a success of Brexit, we won’t have the financial means to fund the public services upon which we all rely. Our National Health Service – the institution which is there for us at the most difficult times – needs us to make a success of Brexit to ensure we can afford to provide it with the resources it needs for the future,” she will say.

“Every school in every village, town and city needs us to make a success of Brexit.”

However, Theresa May has already been urged to reconsider the impact of leaving the European Union by the influential Commons Brexit Select Committee.

Angry Conservatives MPs stormed out of the meeting describing the 155-page document as “too gloomy”.

The committee, chaired by Hilary Benn, said May’s ‘no deal’ assertions were “unsubstantiated” because the government had failed to assess the implications of such a scenario.

David Davis, the Brexit Secretary, has previously admitted that he “could not quantify” the impact of failing to agree a new trade deal before 2019.