Published: Fri, September 21, 2018

Britain’s May Says Brexit Negotiations Have Reached ‘an Impasse’

Britain’s May Says Brexit Negotiations Have Reached ‘an Impasse’

May warned European leaders her plan was the only way forward. Failing to do so could disrupt the lives of people and business on both sides, and undermine Northern Ireland's hard-won peace.

Mrs May said it was clear that the two sides in the Brexit negotiations remained "a long way apart" on the status of the Irish border and the future trade relationship and that departure without a deal could not be ruled out.

"If she is saying "let's take European Union citizens off the table", then she is going in the right direction and we welcome that", he said.

"That would make a mockery of the referendum we had two years ago".

European Union leaders had previously criticised May's proposal for a free trade area in goods after Brexit, but the tough tone at Salzburg surprised many commentators, with some describing it as an "ambush".

"It is something I will never agree to", she said, "and it is something no British prime minister will ever agree to".

"Parliament has already - unanimously - rejected this idea".

The PM also pointed to Northern Ireland as a sticking point in the current Brexit negotiations, saying the Government "will do everything in our power to prevent a return to a hard border".

"From day one, the Prime Minister has looked incapable of delivering a good Brexit deal for Britain". Brussels is familiar with the theatre of diplomacy, where being seen to hold out to the bitter end can help sell the unpopular back home and some diplomats believe a deal could take until Christmas. Nor will I break up my country.

The Prime Minister said in March that she would not be "buffeted" by calls to walk away from talks, but as the tone of negotiations deteriorated on Thursday, she hinted that she might have changed her mind.

"Everybody shared the view that while there are positive elements in the Chequers proposal for economic cooperation, the suggested framework will not work - not least because it risks undermining the single market", he said. He didn't explain how in any detail or make any counter-proposal. "So we are at an impasse".

"The second issue is connected to the first".

The biggest single obstacle to a deal is the need to maintain an open Irish border.

Macron bluntly said May's Brexit proposals, known as Chequers after the country house where they were agreed by the British cabinet in July, were "unacceptable". "It would mean breaking up our country".

"In the end, the British seemed to start believing their own spin and this must have encouraged May to go above the head of Barnier and appeal directly to European Union leaders at the dinner - which also did not go down well with them".

"It may be that they will just accept what we have proposed after the Tory conference".

"We can not accept anything that does not respect the result of the referendum, just as they can not accept anything that is not in the interest of their citizens". The UK expects the same. That plan would have allowed the remain a member of the E.U.'s customs union for goods and services, but leave the bloc's common labor market - meaning free movement between the United Kingdom and the E.U. would come to an end.

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