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Brexit: parliamentary recess from Thursday hits hopes for deal approval

Move seen as political theatre as talks in Brussels continue, but may not preclude recall of MPs and peers

MPs and peers will begin their Christmas break on Thursday evening, the government has announced, amid waning hopes that a Brexit deal will be struck in time to be approved in parliament next week.

With talks on trade and security continuing in Brussels amid signs of progress and compromise, ministers had considered stipulating that parliament should sit on Monday and Tuesday to allow legislation implementing a deal to be passed rapidly.

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