Watch: 'My deal was better’: May delivers takedown of Brexit deal
Theresa May has delivered a withering takedown of Boris Johnson’s Brexit agreement.
Addressing the Commons on Wednesday, the former prime minister said her deal was better than the one reached by her successor on Christmas Eve.
May said she’d be voting to pass the EU/UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement but that the one she previously negotiated would have been more beneficial for the country.
“I did listen with some incredulity to what the leader of the opposition said, he said he wanted a better deal,” May said during one-day debate on the bill, which is expected to be voted through later on Wednesday.
“He had the opportunity in early 2019 when there was the opportunity of a better deal on the table and he voted against it.”
May said she was “disappointed” with what was agreed on services and had wanted a better deal for the financial sector.
May urged the prime minister to try to get the EU to improve terms for the financial sector, which she had pledged to do as leader.
She added: “It is no longer the case that UK service providers will have the automatic right of access to provide services across the EU – they will have to abide by the individual rules of a state.”
May argued it was important in the future to recognise “we live in an interconnected world” and that if the UK is going to play a role “we must never allow ourselves to think – as I fear some in this House do – that sovereignty means isolationism”.
She said she would be supporting the deal, citing “very important” security arrangements.
May added that agreeing tariff-free and quota-free trade arrangements was important and it would have been unforgivable if the EU did not allow this, given it signed up to it in 2018.
May concluded: “Today is the time, as I have said before, to put aside personal and party political interests – which sadly too many have followed in the past – vote in the national interest for the whole UK and support this bill.”
Johnson and former Brexit secretary David Davis resigned from May’s cabinet after criticising the deal she had agreed with the EU to remain in the customs union on a temporary basis.
Her deal was also slammed by other Brexiteers as not going far enough.
MPs will vote on Johnson’s deal on Wednesday, less than 48 hours before transition arrangements between Britain and the EU expire.
The Labour Party has said it will back the deal, which has also won support from pro-Brexit Tories from the European Research Group.
The group, which sees threats to British sovereignty from close ties to the EU, said it was satisfied with the deal which Johnson reached.
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