Published: Fri, September 21, 2018
Markets | By Otis Pena

Brexit: Chequers won't work, European Union leaders tell May

Brexit: Chequers won't work, European Union leaders tell May

We will leave on 29th March 2019 and there will be no second referendum.

European Union officials again said Britain had to move its own position over what has become known as the Irish backstop - how to avoid erecting border posts between the British province and European Union member Ireland - as well as on future economic cooperation after Brexit day in March.

But one reporter at the press conference said May was "visibly angry and shaking throughout it".

"I think Chequers now has no supporters at all".

Donald Tusk, European Council president, said May's signal proposal to create a British-European free trade regime covering agriculture and goods - but not services - was not acceptable.

They've spent two days in Salzburg trying to do just that, but with things at a standstill, each side tried to ramp up pressure on the other. We are hiring extra staff and officials, bringing in IT systems.

'We are ready to improve this proposal.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed, saying "substantial progress" must be made on Brexit when the parties meet on October 18 in Brussels, with a view to wrapping up a deal in November.

A thinner, Canada-style arrangement would open up its own challenges, because it fails to tackle the border issue and could never win the backing of Labour, but it would at least fit the EU's existing models.

Like many leaders, including May, Tusk said, "We need to compromise on both sides".

Any Brexit deal will include a withdrawal agreement and transition period to smooth Britain's exit from the bloc.

Both sides have pledged to ensure there's no hard border around Northern Ireland, but they disagree on how to get there.

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There was a large range on the menu, including coconut chicken curry, aubergine masala and a range of chapatis and sharing dips. The Duchess of Sussex stood behind a tabletop grill and helped cook while her mother and husband watched on proudly.


That means from the EU27's perspective, Brexit doesn't stand or fall over the acceptability of Chequers - it's the backstop for Northern Ireland that is crucially important; and where May's intransigent language appears to have riled her partners.

'When the referendum took place, we gave people the opportunity to make a choice.

In a BBC interview in Salzburg, Mr Muscat said there was "almost unanimous" support among EU leaders for Britain to hold a second referendum on membership of the union. She insisted that her proposals - the so-called Chequers plan - is the only option left.

"We are today at the moment of truth", Macron warned.

And, possibly for that domestic audience, she told the European Union leaders that although time was short, "delaying or extending these negotiations is not an option" and rule out the option of a second referendum on Britain's European Union membership.

Significant chunks of her party won't wear the deal either.

"But the senior British source said Britain believed momentum was growing for a deal, noting Tusk's plan to convene a special summit in mid-November to ink a hoped-for treaty".

Emmanuel Macron has launched a withering attack on Brexiteers as Theresa May's plan to extract the United Kingdom from the European Union appeared to be in tatters.

Theresa May, however, speaking outside the informal summit, said a Conservative government would not permit a second referendum on Brexit.

May was also emphatic in Salzburg: "There has been a vote of the people". "If a People's vote is not granted by Parliament, it will not be due to procedural impediments or a lack of time, but because MPs have chosen not to take these opportunities", concludes the report.

Mr Tusk insisted that despite the EU's reservations about the Chequers plan, he is "a little more optimistic" about the prospect of a "positive outcome".

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