Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement the only viable EU deal, says Labour MP

Lisa Nandy, Labour MP. Photograph: Gareth Fuller/PA.

Lisa Nandy, Labour MP. Photograph: Gareth Fuller/PA. - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Labour MP Lisa Nandy says she won't back Boris Johnson's 'final' offer to the EU and that the only route to leaving the bloc is by bringing back Theresa May's deal.

Speaking on Sky's Sophy Ridge On Sunday, she said that the current prime minister's deal was unacceptable because of the risk she said it poses to the Good Friday Agreement and the loss of environmental and workers' protections.

Nandy, whose Wigan constituency voted to leave, is one of the Labour MPs that the prime minister will be targeting in order to get parliament to agree to his deal.

Nonetheless, Number 10 believes it may have the numbers it needs.

However, Nandy said that the proposed alternative to the backstop would put the Good Friday Agreement at "serious risk".

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She said: "I could support a deal, I would support a deal. The problem is at the moment, we don't have a deal.

"What we've got is a proposal which stands virtually no chance of being accepted by the EU which creates two borders on the island of Ireland which is completely incompatible with existing international law and which rips up the workers' rights and protections and the environmental protections that we spent several months at the start of this year negotiating with the former prime minister.

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"I would vote for a deal, but this is not a deal. This is a pre-election party-political broadcast from the prime minister, and the truth is that for all of the talk about getting Brexit done, we are further away from achieving a deal than we were two months ago when he became prime minister."

Nandy said bringing forward May's last version of the Withdrawal Agreement, which never faced a parliamentary vote, is the only way to avoid no deal.

She added: "The cross-party talks, the cross-party work that is going on is much more between backbenchers of all parties who are currently trying to see if there is a way that we could bring the Withdrawal Agreement Bill before the House.

"That was a Bill that came out of the cross-party talks. It met the vast majority of Labour's key tests, and it is the way, the only way in my view, to prevent us leaving with no deal in just a few weeks' time."

"What we've seen from the prime minister over the last two months since he was made prime minister by the Tory party is much more about electioneering, much less about trying to resolve what is a national crisis."

She said he has "alienated" some of the MPs he would need to get his deal agreed with his language in the House of Commons over, for example, Jo Cox.

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