Published: Sat, December 15, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

No-deal Brexit prep details coming on December 19th — EU's Juncker

No-deal Brexit prep details coming on December 19th — EU's Juncker

Macron insisted "there is one accord, the only one possible", adding "we can not renegotiate it". Parliament will have to decide on one of them.

Keir Starmer, chief Brexit spokesman for the Labour Party, said in media interviews Friday it was clear the Prime Minister would not secure any meaningful changes to her deal and that she should face the music and put her deal to a vote next week.

President of EU Council Donald Tusk took to Twitter to announce the decision. Britain's departure from the bloc, scheduled for March 29, occurs on its watch. "And I would have thought it was rather more up to the British government to tell us exactly what they want".

May herself said she accepted it had not been personal and Juncker, calling her "a woman of great courage", joked that they had kissed and made up afterward. He added that he remained at the disposal of the prime minister over Christmas.

May had earlier acknowledged that major progress was unlikely at the two-day summit, even as she tried to get tweaks to the withdrawal package that she could use to win over opponents - particularly pro-Brexit lawmakers whose loathing of the deal triggered a challenge to her leadership this week.

May's attempt to win assurances from European leaders on her Brexit deal was cast at home as a humiliating failure after they rebuffed pleas for fresh concessions on the so-called Northern Irish backstop.

She welcomed a statement by the other leaders on Thursday, describing the summit's conclusions as having "legal status".

"There is work still to do and we will be holding talks in coming days about how to obtain the further assurances that the United Kingdom parliament needs in order to be able to approve the deal", she said.

As the leaders gathered in their conference room, the British prime minister was filmed by the EU's in-house TV crew confronting Juncker after he called the UK's position on Brexit "nebulous". You called me nebulous.

Blair told the meeting: "My advice to her (May) is there's no point literally in carrying on banging your head against this brick wall. Something that people do in the real world all the time, but which seems so alien in our political culture - to engage with others", she said.

Supporters of the People's Vote campaign want a referendum on any withdrawal deal - or no deal - with the option of remaining in the European Union on the ballot paper.

May has resisted all calls for another vote on Brexit, citing the June 2016 vote as definitive.

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May was filmed speaking sternly to Juncker as leaders arrived at Friday morning's session of the summit.

Ireland's Prime Minister Leo Varadkar refused to countenance any changes.

"Brexit now is more of a British issue".

In legal advice the government was forced to publish on Wednesday, the government's top lawyer warned there was a risk Britain could get stuck in "protracted and repeating rounds of negotiations" to reach a deal to supersede the backstop.

Under huge pressure at home as British media on Friday described her largely unsuccessful plea for help from European Union leaders as a humiliation, May appeared anxious to make a point to Juncker before a new session in the morning.

"The vote will take place on Tuesday as planned", May's spokeswoman said. Westminster is not clear.

"Our present situation is unique in modern British politics", Blair said in a speech in London.

"So we will make sure to prepare for all scenarios and prepare also for a no-deal scenario", he added, as he arrived for the second and final day of the European Union summit.

"The agreement that is on the table - the withdrawal agreement and the agreement on the future relationship - are, in our view, the only and best possible to organise an orderly withdrawal", Barnier said.

May has doggedly insisted she will secure enough changes to get Parliament's approval in a vote before January 21 in hopes of avoiding a disorderly Brexit.

What I think will happen is; that they'll come back in the new year and the stark reality of a no-deal Brexit will face parliament and I think that the Norway option, i.e. EFTA and EEAA membership will begin to look a lot more attractive, and there's a glimmer of hope for a parliamentary consensus on that.

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