COLCHESTER MP Will Quince has voiced his "strong objections" to parts of Prime Minister Theresa May's draft Brexit agreement.

Mr Quince said the PM deserved "huge personal credit" for the way in which she had conducted negotiations, but stopped short of backing the landmark agreement.

Earlier this week, UK and EU officials signed off on the draft withdrawal text after months of negotiations.

But Mr Quince is worried the agreement, if approved in its current form, would risk locking the country into an "indefinite" customs union with Europe.

He said: "I am concerned that we could risk being locked into in an indefinite customs union without the UK retaining the ability to give unilateral notice of its intention to leave.

"In addition, with the UK unable to unilaterally leave the protocol relating to Northern Ireland, our precious union would be put at risk, and I cannot accept any deal that would threaten our union."

Meanwhile May faces growing dissent from within the Tory party, with 23 backbench MPs publicly calling for a vote of no-confidence in the PM's leadership.

She faces backlash over parts of the agreement, including the draft's "backstop" proposals for the Irish border.

This would see Northern Ireland remaining aligned to some rules of the EU single market, meaning goods coming across the border would need to be checked to ensure they meet standards.

Mr Quince remains hopeful his concerns over this aspect of the draft will be allayed.

He said: "There are clear positives to the Prime Minister’s deal which should be acknowledged.

"Taken as a whole, this deal enables us to replace freedom of movement with an alternative immigration system, and contains provisions designed to protect jobs from the uncertainty of a disorderly exit.

"The withdrawal agreement also guarantees our security and crucially does not represent the final deal outlining our future relationship with the European Union.

"I am therefore seeking an urgent meeting with the Attorney General to discuss my strong objections in person.

"I hope my concerns regarding the backstop can be allayed by the Attorney General and the Prime Minister."

He added: "Political deadlock is not in the national interest, and I am keen for progress to be made.

"I believe it is time the result of the referendum was delivered, but do not believe we should enter into an agreement which would not be right for the United Kingdom.

" I would like to be able to work with the Government in order to set our country on a united path to great opportunity and prosperity outside the European Union, and to that end I hope my concerns can be resolved over the coming days."