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The woman nominated to head the EU Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, has pledged to launch a “green deal for Europe” to curb climate change.

Mrs von der Leyen has set out her agenda in the European Parliament ahead of a key vote on her candidacy.

The outgoing German defence minister needs a majority to take charge.

On Brexit, she said “I stand ready for a further extension of the [UK] withdrawal date, should more time be required for a good reason”.

MEPs reacted with a mixture of applause and boos.

“In any case the UK will remain our ally, our partner and our friend,” she said, defending the existing withdrawal deal, reached with Prime Minister Theresa May but rejected

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