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Arriving at the EU foreign affairs council in Brussels this morning, Jeremy Hunt, the foreign secretary, said that he hoped there would be a third vote on Theresa May’s Brexit deal tomorrow. But, he added, “we need to be comfortable that we’ll have the numbers.”

He said there were “some cautious signs of encouragement” in that Tories who have opposed the deal up to now, like Norman Lamont and Esther McVey, now want to see it passed. “But there is a lot more work to do,” Hunt added.

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But another Tory Brexiter, Sir John Redwood, told the Today programme that Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement was “a very expensive invitation to more talks about possibly getting out with a sensible trade agreement, or perhaps not, with the ultimate problem that Northern Ireland might not be allowed out at all”. He went on:

It violates the Conservative manifesto in many important ways. The manifesto is very clear that no deal is better than a bad deal.

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Read More Brexit: Boris Johnson tells May to try again to get EU to change backstop – Politics live

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