Saturday, 20 October, 2018


European Union and United Kingdom at loggerheads over Brexit deal as deadline looms

Bennie Garza | 21 September, 2018, 16:01

Her Chequers plan also faces opposition from pro-Brexit members of her own Conservative Party, including former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who say it would keep Britain tethered to the bloc, unable to strike new trade deals around the world. Macron did not say who he was targeting with his "liars" remark, but Britain's former foreign secretary Boris Johnson and former Brexit negotiator David Davis - who both campaigned strongly for Britain to leave the European Union - resigned in recent months during talks on the divorce deal.

British newspapers led their front pages with a Reuters picture showing May, attired in a red jacket, standing apparently aloof and alone from a mass of suited male European Union leaders.

The Sun went much further: "EU Dirty Rats - Euro mobsters ambush May", it said alongside a mocked up picture of French President Emmanuel Macron and European Council President Donald Tusk cast as American gangsters with guns.

Mrs May is thought to have had a "blazing row" with Mr Tusk before he made his announcement and warned counterparts she could not make any more compromises, the Daily Mail reports.

At an extraordinary press conference in Salzburg, Mrs May said she still believed a deal was possible, and offered a fresh concession on Northern Ireland - but acknowledged there was "a lot of hard work to be done".

'I think we have made more preparations for a no deal than the United Kingdom has, ' said Dutch PM Mark Rutte.

Mr Tusk, who has insisted Britain can not "cherry-pick" benefits of European Union membership to retain, took a pop at the prime minister by putting a photo of them choosing cakes at the summit on Instagram.

Britain has put forward a proposal as part of its Chequers plan for post-Brexit trade ties, but accepts that some fallback plan is needed until this can be agreed.

Two EU leaders have called for Britain to do the "impossible" and have a have a second Brexit referendum, which has been repeatedly rejected by Prime Minister Theresa May. The removal of border infrastructure was a key part of the Good Friday Agreement that brought peace to Northern Ireland after years of sectarian strife.

May welcomed his willingness to "find a new solution", and conceded that some checks were already carried out in the Irish Sea, on agricultural products.

The Daily Mirror says the plan is "broken" and "in tatters" and the chances of a no-deal Brexit have increased.

She stated: "It is in everybody's interests, the United Kingdom's and the EU's, to make sure there is a deal".

Mrs May addressed EU27 leaders over wiener schnitzel with potatoes and Austrian wine, pitching her Chequers proposal before sit-down meetings begin on Thursday.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker sounded nonchalant about the mounting possibility of a no-deal Brexit, saying: "The Commission has prepared in detail all for all the consequences of a no deal".

"What we are proposing is a fair arrangement that will work for the EU's economy as well as for the UK's without undermining the single market", May told them.

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