Good news! Theresa May has a backer for her Brexit deal. Bad news: it's Putin

'Baby if you've got to go away, I don't think I can take the pain'

Embattled Theresa May finally found somebody willing to back her Brexit deal today - Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Putin used his annual televised press conference to say the UK should not hold a second referendum insisting May must 'fulfil the will of the people'.

The president said he 'understood' May's position in 'fighting for this Brexit', adding: "The referendum was held. What can she do? She has to fulfil the will of the people expressed in the referendum.'

He went on to criticise the idea of a second referendum or People's Vote', saying: 'Was it not a referendum?'

He added: 'Someone disliked the result, so repeat it over and over? Is this democracy? What then would be the point of the referendum in the first place?'

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Putin told the press conference he met briefly with May at last month's G20 meeting in Argentina, describing the bilateral relationship as 'deadlocked'.

'Are we interested in restoring the fully-fledged relationship with Britain?," he said. "Yes, and I think Britain is too. Especially the business community.

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"There are a lot of British flagship companies here. BP, for example... operates in the Russian market and wants to stay here. And it is not only them. I hope that common sense prevails."

Labour MP Ian Murray, a backer of the anti-Brexit campaign group Best for Britain, said: "Finally, Theresa May has found a backer for her deal.

"But when Vladimir Putin is trying to give her lessons on democracy, you know that the Prime Minister has made a catastrophic error of judgement.

"Rather than agree with Putin's propaganda, the true democratic option is to give the people a final say on whether they still want to leave the EU."

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