Published: Tue, September 25, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

UK foreign secretary urges EU to step back from ‘abyss’

UK foreign secretary urges EU to step back from ‘abyss’

After being confronted, even mocked a bit, at a meeting of European leaders in Austria this week, Prime Minister Theresa May told her country on Friday "we are at an impasse" in negotiations over Britain's departure from the continental union.

The EU criticized proposals within May's Chequers plan at the summit on Tuesday, warning that they needed to be "reworked and further negotiated".

"If the EU's view is that just by saying no to every proposal made by the United Kingdom, we will eventually capitulate and end up either with a Norway option or indeed staying in the European Union. then they've profoundly misjudged the British people, "Jeremy Hunt told BBC radio". "We gave people the opportunity to make a choice".

The pound fell on May's comments, which seemed to make the prospect of an economically disruptive "no deal" Brexit more likely. French President Emmanuel Macron was particularly damning, calling the leaders of the Brexit campaign "liars".

Referendum, again? May & Tory minister at odds as European Union wants UK's Brexit plan "reworked" As the European Union sent London to rework its Brexit plan, British PM Theresa May insisted it will not accept a second referendum - hours after the Tory treasury minister admitted that another vote could happen "within months".

She added: "The EU should be clear: I will not overturn the result of the referendum, nor will I break up my country". "The U.K. expects the same". A good relationship depends on it. The broadly pro-EU Guardian said May had been "humiliated".

"Your Brexit's broken", the Daily Mirror newspaper said on its front page.

Despite all the heated British rhetoric, the EU's position is not new.

May's proposals - dubbed the Chequers Plan after the Prime Ministerial retreat at which they were forged over the summer - which would keep Britain closely aligned to the EU's single market on agriculture and goods (but not services) via a common rule book "will not work" because it risked undermining the single market.

UK leader May hits back after EU trashes her Brexit plan

Yet British politicians and diplomats were taken aback by Tusk's blunt dismissal of the Chequers plan on Thursday _ and by his light-hearted Instagram post showing Tusk and May looking at a dessert tray and the words: "A piece of cake, perhaps?"

UK Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab said the bloc had "yanked up the handbrake" on the negotiations.

Anti-Brexit campaigner Gina Miller said British officials shouldn't have been surprised.

"The British did not seem to believe (Barnier) and instead they were peddling their own narrative that there are big differences between the Barnier team and the leaders", a diplomat from one of Britain's closest European Union allies told Reuters.

Mrs May remains wedded to the Chequers blueprint, noting it is the only proposal on the table as the deadline approaches, although she indicated the United Kingdom will unveil new measures on the future status of the Northern Irish border in a bid to break the deadlock.

Many business chiefs and investors say a so called "no-deal" Brexit would weaken the West, panic financial markets and block the arteries of trade. In Britain, the political class is obsessed with Brexit. When the Conservatives meet for their annual conference on September 30, they plan to push May to ditch the Chequers plan or face a challenge to her leadership.

Despite the somber mood music, May hinted there could be a way forward.

"But at the same we need to be ready for the possibility. that the ambitions that we are bringing to these negotiations to try and get a win-win deal isn't matched by the other side and it does take two to tango".

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