European leaders pour scorn on British PM's Brexit plan

Video Matthias Schrader EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, arrives at the informal EU summit in Salzburg Aus

Video Matthias Schrader EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, arrives at the informal EU summit in Salzburg Aus

An emergency summit on Brexit proposed for November 17-18 will only happen as a "punchline to effective negotiations", Tusk said.

But their tokenistic effort was a misreading of Theresa May's political position - especially ahead of what is likely to be a hard annual conference with her own Conservative Party.

Speaking at a news conference in Brussels, Barnier said: 'It is then we shall see whether agreement we are hoping for is in our grasp.

But Mrs May insisted her plans remained the "only proposal on the table".

They realize May is the only one who can seal a deal on Brexit and they do not want her to "go belly up", the diplomat said.

Now that's expected to last until the end of 2020 but if there is no deal to avoid the hard border in Ireland and a political declaration outlining future relations then there will be no so-called transition period.

Kurz said that failing to reach a deal "would be hard for Europe but it would be awful for the UK".

But former Brexit secretary David Davis today dismissed suggestions that the European Union would compromise over May's Chequers plan. This would keep Northern Ireland under EU economic oversight if London and Brussels can not agree a trade pact to keep UK-EU borders open after a transition period ends in 2020 - an idea that May and a small party in the province that props up her minority government oppose.

Jean-Claude Juncker, who heads the EU Commission, is one of the leaders whom May failed to impress.

Tory activists were already intensely sceptical about the Chequers agreement, which they fear will bind Britain too closely to European Union rules and regulations, and risk fuelling a betrayal narrative among Leave voters.




He added: "Today I am a little more optimistic when it comes to a positive outcome of our negotiations".

'Neither side can demand the unacceptable of the other, such as an external customs border between different parts of the United Kingdom'.

With barely six months until Britain leaves the bloc, at the risk of serious disruption if there is no deal to tie up legal loose ends, there is pressure on both sides: "You can hear very clearly the clock ticking in the room", said the second diplomat.

"Just think of all the people everyday who cross the border to work or study, think of all the businesses who trade across the border, so that's what we're trying to engineer in many ways, is a new relationship that at least when it comes to those matters, is very much like the one we have now, but that's hard to do".

Keir Starmer MP, the Shadow Brexit Secretary, said: "It has been clear for weeks that Theresa May's Chequers' proposals can not deliver the comprehensive plan we need to protect jobs, the economy and avoid a hard border in Northern Ireland".

"If the choice we face is between no deal and no detail, then an extension to the Article 50 negotiation period must be on the table as the only way to avoid an economic cliff edge, and allow all alternative options to be considered".

Put differently, the problems with Chequers might be smaller than the problems of any other plan.

He stressed again that Ireland is preparing for a no-deal scenario but said he believes a deal can be reached.

Speaking at a summit in Salzburg, the Mrs May told reporters: "I think that I want to make my position absolutely clear, which is that there will be no second referendum. Not only would that continue the uncertainty, it would be tantamount to stepping off a cliff edge blindfolded, with no idea of what the landing place will be".

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