Macron: Political leaders pushing for Brexit are 'liars'

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"Without clear a precise solution to the Irish question, and for the whole context of our economic future relations, it will be hard even to imagine a positive process after October", Tusk said.

Both sides are trying to reach a deal in time and want to avoid a hard border - meaning any physical infrastructure like cameras or guard posts - between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic but can not agree on how.

After what she described as a "frank" meeting with Mr Tusk, Mrs May - who was not present at yesterday's lunch -insisted that the plan drawn up at her country residence in July remains "the only serious and credible proposition on the table" for resolving the issue of the Irish border.

"What we can't compromise on is those fundamentals that we need: a transition period, we need to make sure the common travel area is protected, that the rights of citizens in Northern Ireland are protected and also that we have a legally operable backstop that assures us that a hard Border won't emerge on the island of Ireland".

May promised to bring forward new proposals that would ensure trade could move freely across the Irish border, but would not require different customs regimes in Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom, a key red line for the British Prime Minister.

May has said her Chequers proposals for trade with the European Union, which would resolve arguments over the border of Northern Ireland with the Irish Republic, were the only way forward.

"Theresa May's Brexit negotiating strategy has been a disaster", opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said.

It feels that the search for something else has been in vain.

The Prime Minister set out her blueprint over dinner with fellow leaders on Wednesday evening.

"We will be bringing forward our own proposals shortly", she added.

"The government will not accept a second referendum because there has been a vote of the people".

Tusk said he was confident a deal would be done, and several commentators speculated the European Union may have been deliberately critical in order to force a crisis that would help bring negotiations to a close.




Asked about reports Mrs May is willing to concede to some regulatory checks at Irish Sea ports, Mr Varadkar said he didn't want to comment on details of proposals without anything in writing.

Mr Coveney added that Brexit would be a "lose, lose, lose" for Britain, adding that its influence on the world would be diminished as a result of leaving the EU.

"They build up, there's tough language and actually a deal is done at the last".

"That's why I think if that's the situation we end up in (then) extending Article 50 is a far better way of proceeding".

Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany said the group was "united that, in the matter of the single market, there can be no compromises".

Her former Brexit Minister David Davis has warned that there is, what he called, a rock solid core of 40 MPs who would vote against any plan reached under Mrs May's Chequers proposals.

"The Chequers plan can not be 'take it or leave it, '" he added.

The Brexit action plan for EU leaders coming to Salzburg - briefed over and again in advance of the summit in off-the-record conversations with European diplomats - had been to spout words of support for Theresa May to help her secure an EU/UK Brexit divorce deal not just with Brussels, but with political opponents back home.

Tusk said of her so-called Chequers proposals that "the suggested framework for cooperation will not work, not least because it risks undermining the single market" of seamless movement of goods, services, capital and persons.

Mr Tusk said the October meeting of the EU Council would be a "moment of truth" in negotiations.

British politicians are trying to persuade German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron to ensure the European Union accepts a deal that May can sell to her parliament.

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar also said that his government was making large-scale preparations in the event of a "No Deal Brexit".

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