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

PUBLISHED: 12:28 20 December 2018 | UPDATED: 12:28 20 December 2018

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

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

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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?”

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.

"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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Almost four years after its creation The New European goes from strength to strength across print and online, offering a pro-European perspective on Brexit and reporting on the political response to the coronavirus outbreak, climate change and international politics. But we can only rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press with your support. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.

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