Brexit: Chequers won't work, European Union leaders tell May

Cornelia Mascio
Settembre 21, 2018

A new summit is expected to be set up for November, as the deadline for a deal by the end of autumn looms.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said "there can be no compromises on the Single Market" and said "substantial progress" was still needed on the UK's Brexit plans.

"I had a very good meeting this morning with Prime Minister May and her team".

She said her "Chequers" proposals for trade with the European Union, intended also to resolve arguments over the borders of Northern Ireland, were the only way forward.

However, to avoid being defeated on the crucial bill, Theresa May promised Grieve's group that she would give Parliament "a meaningful say" on the final deal.

"If the political will is there on the other side I am confident we will reach a deal which is in the EU's interests as well as the UK's", she said.

'The plan that is on the table to take us forward, the plan that delivers on the Brexit vote but also protects jobs and maintains the unity of the United Kingdom is the Chequers plan.

Barnier hopes the Salzburg summit can set the process on to a countdown to a deal in two months - diplomats said leaders agreed to hold their diaries for a possible final Brexit summit in Brussels on the weekend of November 17-18.

She said: "I believe that I have put forward serious and workable proposals". "They left the next day so they didn't have to manage it".

They listened politely for a few minutes but said afterwards that a stalemate on the Irish border was unbroken - though some European Union diplomats detected a cracking of ice around the spectacular summit dinner table, laid in the Salzburg theatre used to film a dramatic escape finale in the film "The Sound of Music". Ireland is a country that obviously wants to avoid a no deal scenario, we want to avoid a no deal Brexit, (but) we are preparing for that, we are hiring extra staff and officials, putting in IT systems, we're ready for that eventuality should it occur.

While both Britain and the European Union agree that imposing a hard Irish border would threaten a very hard-won peace on the island, May insisted that there was no way she could allow anyone to "divide the United Kingdom into two customs territories".

"On the economic partnership, there is no solution that will resolve the Northern Ireland border which is not based on the frictionless movement of goods". But May said a divorce deal is within grasp if both sides show "good will and determination".

Tusk says the plans being pushed by May would undermine the EU Single Market.

"With just weeks to go until a deal must be struck, the Prime Minister can not keep ignoring this reality".

Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer 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". They made that choice, ' she said.

Ahead of a meeting in Brussels on Wednesday to outline its case, the organisation claimed no deal and the resulting tariffs on light vehicles alone "would add £5bn to the collective EU-UK auto trade bill".

Paul Whiteley, a professor of politics and government at the University of Essex, explains the latest on the unfolding Brexit process.

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