Priti Patel: Government focus is ‘leaving with a deal’

Home Secretary Priti Patel has said she would vote for a Brexit deal that does not feature the Irish border “backstop”.

Ms Patel previously voted against the EU Withdrawal Agreement negotiated by former Prime Minister Theresa May’s government three times.

The backstop is designed to avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

It would come into effect if the EU and the UK couldn’t negotiate a trade deal after the Withdrawal Agreement, and would mean the whole of the UK retaining a very close relationship with the EU – staying in the customs union – unless and until both the EU and the UK agreed it was no longer necessary.