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Eurosceptic Liam Fox urges MPs to 'set aside differences' and back Theresa May on Brexit deal

Emilio Casalicchio

2 min read

Liam Fox will today urge MPs to “set aside our differences” and back the Brexit deal Theresa May clinched with Brussels.

In a boost for the Prime Minister, the Brexiteer International Trade Secretary will claim the blueprint she secured was a “balanced approach” and “right for the country”.

It comes after she also won the backing of fellow pro-Brexit Cabinet minister Andrea Leadsom, who was thought to be on the verge of resignation over the deal.

But the chances of the agreement being rejected by parliament increased last night as the number of rebel Tories vowing to reject it hit 100.

At a speech in Portbury Royal Docks near Bristol today, Dr Fox will admit that the withdrawal agreement and political declaration on future trade that the PM secured “will not please everyone”.

But in a message aimed at colleagues in parliament, he will add: “The divisions of the referendum need to be consigned to the past.

“Now is the time to set aside our differences, and lead our country to a future of freedom, success, and prosperity.

“In politics we cannot always have the luxury of doing what we want for ourselves, but we have an abiding duty to do what is right for our country.”

Dr Fox will pitch the UK as ready to take on an independent global trading role, arguing “there is a world beyond Europe, and a time beyond Brexit”.

MPs argue plans in the Brexit deal to protect the Northern Irish border in the event of a no-deal Brexit could jeopardise the United Kingdom and leave the UK in a permanent limbo with the bloc.

The so-called 'backstop' plan would keep the country in a customs union with the EU and keep Northern Ireland tied to aspects of the single market. 

Meanwhile, Theresa May called on Tory MPs to ditch their misgivings about her Brexit deal and support it for the good of their constituents.

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