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European Union criticism of Chequers plan a 'negotiating tactic'

European Union criticism of Chequers plan a 'negotiating tactic'”

Instead, the EU leaders flatly rejected the idea, with European Council President Donald Tusk saying it "will not work ... because it risks undermining the single market".

The prime minister also said she would present a counter-proposal to resolve the impasse over the Irish backstop, an EU proposal stipulating that if a free trade agreement can not be signed after Brexit then Northern Ireland would remain in the customs union, creating a trade border down the Irish Sea.

"There's a lot of hard work to be done", she said.

The backstop would keep Northern Ireland under EU economic oversight if London and Brussels can not agree a trade pact to keep UK-EU borders open, an idea that May and a small party in the province that props up her minority government oppose.

With Britain's departure from the European Union on March 29, 2019 looming, there are growing concerns that a deal on the post-Brexit relationship may not be cobbled together in time to ensure a smooth and orderly British exit.

She insisted it is the only way to provide the "frictionless" movement of goods on the frontier between British-ruled Northern Ireland and the Irish republic, which both sides have pledged to keep open.

"There is a lot of common ground on the basis of [the United Kingdom plan], especially in the area of domestic security and also foreign cooperation and other issues, but there is still a lot of work to do on the question of how future trade relations will look".

European Union leaders were supposed to sign-off this week on an additional November summit to give more time for the chance of a Brexit deal.

Standing at a lectern before two Union flags in 10 Downing Street, a steely-faced Mrs May said the EU's dismissal of her Chequers plan without an explanation was "not acceptable" and demanded "respect" for the United Kingdom from Brussels.

For now, however, May faces criticism of her "soft Brexit" approach at her Conservative Party conference in 10 days and there is little sign of either side giving way.

May gave no indication that she would change her Brexit policy in Salzburg, and would not say that she believed that a no deal outcome was more likely after the embarrassing summit: "If we get to the position where there will be no deal, the British people can be confident we will be done what is necessary". "Our white paper remains the only serious and credible proposal on the table for achieving that objective", she said. "We all want the best for both sides, but it's hard with all the red lines that are part of the British debate".

"We want avoid a 'No Deal Brexit, ' but we are preparing for that".

She issued promises that, if no deal is secured, the rights of 3 million expats will be protected and the Government will do "everything in our power" to prevent a hard border in Northern Ireland.

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said there was no chance the European Union would compromise on its demands and rejected speculation the other countries would be tempted to fudge the Irish issue until later. May can not cherry-pick parts of the single market.

Tusk made the statement at a press conference following a two-day informal summit partly focusing on Brexit talks in the Austrian city of Salzburg.

A clearly nervous and angry May told reporters that European Union leaders were engaged in "negotiating tactics" created to throw her off course.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said Mrs May had shown herself "incapable of delivering a good Brexit deal", and shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer accused her of being "in denial".

A senior British government official also said it would bring forward a backstop proposal for regulatory checks on goods crossing into and from Northern Ireland, raising the possibility of a breakthrough.

The bloc also raised the stakes by putting on ice a special summit planned for November to seal a deal, saying it would only happen if there is progress next month.



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