THERESA May has suffered an historic defeat over her Brexit deal.

After she famously said that "no deal is better than a bad deal", she urged Parliament to back a set of proposals on the basis that "this is a good deal".

Despite this, a staggering 432 members of Parliament voted to reject the deal with only 202 MPs voting in favour.

Whatever the rights and wrongs of Britain's membership of the European Union, Theresa May has spent two-and-a-half years telling everyone that she intended to deliver a Brexit that everyone could support.

The truth is she has tried to deliver a Brexit that no one supports, including 118 MPs from her own Conservative back-benchers.

Very few people other than Brexit hardliners advocate a "no deal Brexit".

Millions of British people have family connections to Ireland, France, Spain and other EU countries.

Millions of British people work in industries that are reliant on trade with our EU neighbours. Millions of British people rely on public services that would collapse without workers from across the EU.

We need a deal that will protect jobs and services, give long-term security to families who have settled here in the UK and help resolve the border issue between the North and South of Ireland.

The Government has spent an enormous amount of time, energy and resources on Brexit negotiations with little to show for it so far.

The tragedy is that for two-and-a-half years the divisive Brexit debate has diverted public and political attention from issues such as austerity, Universal Credit, homelessness, low pay, public transport and the future of social care.

Ultimately, we need need to be able to move on from the Brexit debate and focus on these domestic issues which are not being properly addressed.

The sooner we can have a general election and remove the Conservatives from office the better.

Joan Pritchard-Jones