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Brexit bickering so late in the process brings ‘shame’ on the Tories, John McDonnell says

TORIES have brought “shame” on themselves by bickering over the Brexit Bill so late in the process, shadow chancellor John McDonnell said today.

Last night, a late deal saw PM Theresa May stave off a Tory revolt on some of the Lords amendments to the Bill.

Mr McDonnell said at a business and finance conference: “I thought it was shaming for the politicians involved.”

Ms May will be meeting European leaders “unprepared and undecided as a result of some of the parliamentary activity yesterday,” he said.

At Prime Minister’s Questions, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn also slammed Ms May’s lack of preparation.

He pressed her on when she would release the Brexit white paper detailing future ambitions for Britain’s relationship with the EU, noting that Cabinet Office minister David Lidington had said it would be in July.

Without the white paper, Ms May has been left with nothing with which to negotiate, Mr Corbyn said.

Asked if she would seek a delay to the EU summit while the government decides its position, Ms May said it is not a meeting about Brexit but about issues such as sanctions against Russia.

Mr Corbyn said: “The Cabinet is divided and they’re briefing against each other.

“Last week the transition period was delayed by a year in the space of 24 hours and yesterday a deal with her backbenchers was reneged on within hours.”

Ms May dismissed his claim about the transition period as “quite wrong” as she said the backstop arrangement would come into force if it is not possible to put future customs arrangement in place by January 1 2021.

“I’m not really sure whether it’s a backstop or backslide she’s talking about here,” Mr Corbyn shot back.

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