Published: Fri, September 21, 2018
Economy | By

Sterling retreats on United Kingdom refusal of European Union border offer

Sterling retreats on United Kingdom refusal of European Union border offer

Reporters said May was shaking and looking visibly nervous as European leaders rejected her Brexit plan.

Donald Tusk, the head of the European Council, said the plans risked undermining the bloc's single market and told Mrs May that negotiations were facing a "moment of truth".

Another posted: "Your hubris and smugness know no end, do they, Tusky?"

But May's plans for a long informal debate between her and the other EU27 leaders in the Austrian city have been "thwarted", reports The Sun.

And in her press conference, Theresa May seemed frustrated that her proposals perhaps have not been properly digested or considered yet.

But Mrs May said Chequers was "the only credible and negotiable plan on the table that delivers no hard border in Northern Ireland and also delivers on the vote of the British people".

With both sides digging in, "the assumption that an eleventh-hour deal will be clinched is predicated - on both sides - on the firm belief that the other will capitulate on the backstop question", says The Daily Telegraph's Peter Foster.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte labelled the Brexit negotiations "a balancing act" and the leaders will have further opportunities to thrash an agreement out when they meet again in Brussels on October 18 and again in mid-November.

And he issued a harsh assessment of Brexiteers who he said "predicted easy solutions".
"Those people are liars", Mr Macron said.


On Wednesday, Tusk announced a special Brexit summit in November, when he hopes a deal will be "finalized".

May argues that the United Kingdom and the European Union face a choice between her proposal - which would keep Britain aligned to the European Union rulebook in return for seamless trade in goods - and an economically disruptive Brexit in which Britain crashes out of the bloc without a deal.

The French said May's proposals "are not acceptable as they stand, particularly in the economic realm" because they "don't respect the integrity of the single market".

But May and German Chancellor Angela Merkel were among those who stressed there was still "a lot of work" to do. She said Britain "will be bringing forward our own proposals shortly" about how to break the impasse.

May was also set an October deadline for a solution on the Irish border issue just hours after informing Leo Varadkar, the Irish taoiseach, in a private breakfast meeting that she felt it would be impossible to come to a compromise within such a timescale.

In Mrs May's absence on Thursday, the 27 other European Union leaders will discuss issues including the UK's future relationship with the European Union and how to resolve the problems around the Irish border.

Needless to say, the tone struck by both officials runs counter to the remarks made by the EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier in recent days, who suggested that an agreement in the coming weeks. "They left the next day so they didn't have to manage it".

"But she will get up tomorrow morning and she will keep going, and I think the reserves that she has - she never talks about being type 1 diabetic, she never talks about now being over 60 or any of that sort of stuff - but the resilience she is showing under the most extreme pressure, we haven't seen in politics since the financial crash of 2008 and before then for a couple of decades before that. Now is the time for the prime minister to reset the negotiation and take Tusk's March offer of a free trade plus deal".

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