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Rolling coverage of the day’s political developments as they happen, including day three of the Brexit debate 4.07pm GMT 4.02pm GMT You can read the speeches from today’s Brexit debate on Hansard online, at least those delivered until 1pm, here. The rest will come online a bit later. It wasn’t an especially memorable debate, but here are some of the highlights not already featured. I’m talking myself into supporting the prime minister’s deal next Tuesday against no deal and against further delay. I’m not quite there yet but I’m not far away. It seems the House isn’t yet there at all but at some point we need to recognise the danger of no deal is still there and the only real alternative on the table is the prime minister’s deal. According to the brief from the PLP [parliamentary Labour party] this week we’re going for a sensible Brexit - whatever that is. The reality is all over the country we know there is no such thing as a jobs-first Brexit, it is entirely about mitigating the damage ... I have never rebelled against the government in my three-and-a-half years in this place, and I do so with a heavy heart but with a clear head that this is not the right deal. I remember vividly being in Blackpool in the Odeon for a fringe meeting. There was some chap called Norman Tebbit on that platform and a young upstart called John Bercow, and John Bercow made Mr Tebbit look a bit left wing. I think I’m absolutely right about that. Following that excellent fringe meeting which was packed to the gunnels, mostly by Government whips trying to find out what we were up to, I got a phone call from the then said John Bercow, ‘could you make sure I’m on your fringe next year?’, I remember this very vividly, it’s in my diaries for future publication. I find it astonishing from the comments from the secretary of state for environment yesterday that this party of government seems more concerned about the welfare and free movement of race horses than they are about the welfare and free movement of people. The leadership of this country, and that includes the government and the opposition, should stop reinforcing weakness and start talking up our strengths and building up our confidence. History has proved that our country can always rise to the challenge and our people will never forgive the politicians who allow the EU to inflict defeat, and it saddens me greatly that even some in my own party are promoting such a defeat. This treaty, if we were to approve it, would involve us giving up £39bn for nothing, would leave us as a rule-taker, would potentially lead us into a backstop from which there’s no escape, would threaten the break-up of the UK, and would still leave us under the suzerainty of the European Court of Justice - a vassal state. This country has never bowed the knee to anyone in almost 1,000 years and I don’t believe we should start now. Continue reading...