Prime Minister Theresa May will put country before party - David Lidington

David Lidington MP says the Prime Minister will put the country before party unity as she heads into a crucial phased of Brexit negotiations.

Minister for the Cabinet Office was adamant that Theresa May will ensure the United Kingdom will get the best deal from Brexit, even at the cost of her fractured party.

The Conservatives are split over what sort of deal they want from negotiations with the European Union, leaving many to wonder whether Mrs May will decide to do what is necessary to save her party rather than what is good for the country as a whole.

“What’s important for us is doing what’s right for the country," Mr Lidington told Peston. "We want to do what’s right for the country and that is what is animating our entire approach to the negotiations.

"This is about yes delivering on what people voted for in 2016, honouring that result, and I think not to do that would of course damage public confidence.”

David Davis says he was stitched up by the Prime Minister over EU backstop proposals.

Asked if he should have resigned earlier, Mr Davis said: "We had the discussion about the, so-called, temporary customs union area; I made all of these points at that time.

"There was quite a strong meeting, shall we say, between myself and the Prime Minister over it and she agreed we had to have a timetable to it, we agreed some fairly general language - this was represented afterwards in one of the newspapers, briefed by No 10, 'Davis has been stitched up'.

"Now if I can be stitched up by No 10, Britain can be stitched up by the European Commission in exactly the same way, if we don't get absolutely explicit guarantees on timetable. The Conservative Party, most of the won't it accept it, I suspect quite a lot of Labour Party members wouldn't accept it either."

Nick Clegg

Former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg believes EU members would be happy to make concessions on freedom of movement to the UK.

“The most interesting thing I have discovered perhaps in speaking to folk in Euro capitals is that they not least because their own electorates have become more and more unsettled by the mass movement of people into the European Union and across it, they are much much more open and they speak actively and have developed thoughts and plans about how to introduced further reforms, an emergency brake in effect on freedom of movement.

“British Ministers know about this. I know for a fact that British Ministers know about this.”

  • Peston is broadcast on ITV at 10.45pm on Wednesdays - but you can watch it live on this page at 8pm as the programme is recorded.