Rolling coverage of the day’s political developments as they happen, including Theresa May’s statement to MPs about what she plans next following the Commons defeat of her Brexit plan

I asked David Cameron, ‘Why did you decide on this referendum, this – it’s so dangerous, so even stupid, you know,’ and, he told me – and I was really amazed and even shocked – that the only reason was his own party, [He told me] he felt really safe, because he thought at the same time that there’s no risk of a referendum, because, his coalition partner, the Liberals, would block this idea of a referendum. But then, surprisingly, he won and there was no coalition partner. So paradoxically David Cameron became the real victim of his own victory.

Breaking: the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier tells @rtenews the Withdrawal Agreement, including the Irish backstop, is “the best deal possible” for the UK in the Brexit negotiations.

Mr Barnier dismissed reports of a bilateral arrangement between the UK and Ireland, saying the EU negotiated as “one team.” He said the focus was now on the future relationship and the Political Declaration which sketches that relationship.

Mr Barnier said the EU was prepared to work again on the declaration to make it more “ambitious”. Ahead of Theresa May presenting a fresh plan to the House of Commons to break the deadlock, and amid reports that she would try to win the support of the DUP and Tory backbenchers…

Mr Barnier told @rtenews the debate in the UK had now switched from the backstop to the future relationship. He did not want to intervene in that debate but he said the EU and UK could work again on the political declaration and “be more ambitious”.

Julian Smith had to apologise for cheating my constituents out of their voice, by asking an MP to break our pair while I nursed my two-week-old baby. If he is blocking proxy voting in private, it makes an absolute mockery of his public apology and he should resign.


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Emily Thornberry, the shadow foreign secretary, has suggested that Labour may not commit itself to backing a second referendum on Brexit until the UK is “about to hit the wall of no deal”. Speaking on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire, she was asked about claims that Labour is delaying the moment when it has to back a second referendum for as long as possible. She replied:

We are going through these different options as has been set out by our party policy. So we go for a general election. We are now at the stage of trying to look at all options that may be on the table, so we are trying to say to [Theresa May], ‘Look you need to have a customs deal, we have to be part of a customs union, you have to stop blackmailing us on no deal. There are certain things you absolutely have to do.’ We have been saying that.

Then, if we end up where we are absolutely about to hit the wall of no deal, then of course we will try anything we can to make sure that we protect our country.

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Read More Cameron told me privately Lib Dems would block referendum he promised, Tusk claims – Politics live

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