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May sells Brexit deal in Scotland as live TV debate takes shape

By Earle Gale in London | China Daily UK | Updated: 2018-11-28 22:08

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May leaves 10 in Downing Street in London, Britain, Nov 28, 2018. [Photo/Agencies]

Britain's prime minister, Theresa May, defended and promoted the divorce deal she negotiated with the European Union during a visit to Scotland on Wednesday aimed at winning support ahead of a crucial vote in the House of Commons.

While visiting a factory in Glasgow, she said her deal is the only one on the table and claimed it will protect jobs and offer exporters the chance to find new markets while keeping existing ones.

She wants to win more support from members of Parliament ahead of the vote on Dec 11 that the government currently looks set to lose.

May went north of the border one day after Scotland's first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, released a report claiming Scotland will be 9 billion pounds ($11.5 billion) a year worse off by 2030 outside the EU than it would be within the bloc.

And British-based Formula One racing team McLaren added to the debate on Wednesday by saying a no-deal Brexit would put several United Kingdom racing teams at risk.

Jonathan Neale, McLaren's chief operating officer, told the Guardian the seven F1 teams based in Britain would face difficulties if the UK leaves the EU without a divorce deal.

"The key issues will be border efficiency for both parts and people and administrative costs," Neale told the paper. "… Currently, there are well-trodden paths in how we manage customs and borders in order to move seamlessly."

May's chancellor of the exchequer admitted on Wednesday morning that all forms of Brexit are likely to dent the UK's economy, but Philip Hammond told BBC Radio 4's Today program May's deal was the best option available. He said the difference between the post-Brexit economy under May's deal and the economy as it would be if the UK remained within the EU was not likely to be huge, and noted the economy was not the only thing on people's minds when they voted to leave the EU.

"We're going to go out and we're going to sell this deal," Hammond said.

The Daily Telegraph claimed on Wednesday to have seen a leaked Treasury report that describes how the economy may look in 15 years' time under various scenarios.

It says there will be a 150-billion-pound cost to leaving the EU without a deal and only a 40-billion-pound cost over the 15 years to leaving with May's deal.

The Sun newspaper said on Wednesday that May is relishing the chance to debate her Brexit deal on British television with Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the opposition Labour Party. The live head-to-head is likely to be on Dec 9.

She told the paper: "I am going to be going out and round the country. I am going to be talking to people. I am going to be explaining why I think this deal is the right deal for the UK – and yes, I am ready to debate it with Jeremy Corbyn because I have got a plan. He hasn't got a plan."

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