THERESA May has praised her Brexit breakthrough as “good news for Leavers AND Remainers” as she called for transition and trade talks to start immediately.
The Prime Minister told MPs today that Britain was finally on the way to ending the control of EU courts and sending vast amounts of money to Brussels when we quit the bloc.
After she sealed a deal with EU leaders last week to move onto talks about a transition and trade deal, Mrs May said a “new sense of optimism” that had been brought to the table.
She told MPs in the Commons this afternoon: “This is good news for people who voted Leave, who were worried we were so bogged down in tortuous negotiations it was never going to happen.
“And it is good news for people who voted Remain, who were worried we were going to crash out without a deal.”
Former minister Nick Boles deemed her performance in Brussels last week “worthy of Geoffrey Boycott” – the legendary ex-England cricketer.
Mrs May laughed off the “compliment” but at the end of the PM’s statement, John Bercow jokingly compared her stint in the Commons to Mr Boycott’s reputation for marathon innings.
The Speaker said: “She was at the crease for an hour and 45 minutes, a very substantial commitment – but I’m not sure Geoffrey Boycott would see it that way.”
And even remainer rebels Ken Clarke and Anna Soubry congratulated the Prime Minister on her efforts in Brussels last week – and Nicky Morgan deeming it an “early Christmas present”.
But Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said she had only just “scraped through” and talks had been “punctured by posturing and delays”.
He told MPs: “This weekend Cabinet members have managed to contradict each other. Indeed some have managed to go even further and contradict themselves.”
Mrs May also paid tribute to David Davis and his team today for his “calm and professional approach” and stressed that Britain had “argued robustly and clearly” for what we wanted.
She deemed Brussels’ original demands on citizens rights and the continued oversight the European Court of Justice (ECJ) as “not acceptable”.
“The jurisdiction of the ECJ in the UK is coming to an end,” she vowed.
“We are taking control our own laws once again. And that is exactly how it should be.”
Last week the PM won a battle over the ECJ and agreed a time-limit on Euro judges having an influence on us.
Brussels has climbed down to accept a 10 year sunset clause to end the role of European Court of Justice rulings after Brexit, diplomatic sources have revealed.
And Mrs May confirmed once more that after we pay a settlement to leave, Britain will see “significant savings compared with remaining in the European Union”.
The money will be spent on priorities at home – including housing, schools and the NHS.
“It means the days of paying vast sums to the European Union every year are coming to an end,” she stressed.
She confirmed that Britain would pay billions to the EU to leave the bloc, but that “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed” – if a deal isn’t reached then the money was off the table.
And she said the total bill could actually come down from an estimated £35-£40billion.
“It is a fair settlement for the British taxpayer,” she added.
But Brexiteer backbencher Philip Davies was angry the Government was promising billions to the EU alongside “continuing with a policy of austerity at home”.
He stormed: “Many constituents don’t understand where this money is coming from.”
And Robert Halfon demanded that she promise not to hand over any more cash, and to publish the full costs to justify it to constituents.
Iain Duncan Smith stressed that any transition period must not see Britain “carry on with no change”.
The Prime Minister again confirmed that there will be “no hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland” and there will be no disruption to the constitution of the United Kingdom.
She promised: “There can be no question about our commitment to avoiding barriers both North-South and East-West” and told SNP MPs to “google” her stance,
Earlier today David Davis u-turned on the question of the Irish border deal by saying it WAS legally binding.
But yesterday he sparked fury with Ireland by declaring that it was just a “statement of intent”.
And in another extraordinary admission, he told LBC that he doesn’t have to be clever or know much in order to his job as Brexit Secretary.