After a marathon meeting of her Cabinet, Theresa May stood outside of Number 10 Downing Street last night to announce that there had been agreement on the draft agreement on Brexit.

Speaking to the press, Theresa May said: “The Cabinet has just had a long, detailed, and impassioned debate on the draft withdrawal agreement and the outlined political declaration on our future relationship with the European Union.

“These documents were the result of thousands of hours of hard negotiations by UK officials and many, many meetings which I and ministers held with our EU counterparts. 

“I firmly believe that the draft withdrawal agreement was the best that could be negotiated.

“And it was for the Cabinet to decide whether to move on in the talks. The choices before us were difficult, particularly in relation to the Northern Ireland backstop.”

I know there will be difficult days ahead. This is a decision which will come under intense scrutiny

Mrs May continued: “But the collective decision of Cabinet was that the Government should agree on the draft withdrawal agreement and the outline political declaration.

“This is a decisive step which enables us to move on and finalise the deal in the days ahead. These decisions were not taken lightly but I believe it is a decision in the national interest.

“When you strip away the detail, the choice before us is clear.

“This deal, which delivers on the result of the referendum, which brings back control of our money, laws and borders, end free movement, protects jobs, security and our union – or leave with no deal. Or no Brexit at all.”

She concluded: “I know there will be difficult days ahead. This is a decision which will come under intense scrutiny and that is entirely as it should be and entirely understandable.

“But the choice was this deal which enables us to take back control and to build a brighter future for our country or go back to square one, with more division, more uncertainty and a failure to deliver on the referendum.”

Mrs May also announced plans to give a statement in front of MPs on Thursday to defend the Cabinet’s decision to back her tentative Brexit deal.

The Prime Minister added: “It’s my role as Prime Minister to explain the decisions the Government has taken and I stand ready to do that beginning tomorrow with a statement in Parliament.

“If I could end by just saying this. I believe what I owe to this country is to take decisions in the national interest and I firmly believe, with my head and my heart, this is a decision which is in the best interests of our entire United Kingdom.”