Theresa May to make statement on Brexit negotiations

Cheryl Sanders
September 21, 2018

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May addresses a press conference at the end of the EU Informal Summit of Heads of State or Government at the Mozarteum University in Salzburg, Austria, on September 20, 2018.

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

"The UK will leave on March 29 next year", she said over dinner, adding: "The onus is now on all of us to get this deal done".

If Britain is to leave with a deal in six months, May and the Europeans must find solutions in coming weeks so parliaments have enough time to ratify the agreement.

Tusk was speaking at the end of an European Union summit in Salzburg, where the leaders of the 27 remaining states in the bloc were discussing Brexit. But that backstop can not divide the United Kingdom into two customs territories, and we will be bringing forward our own proposals shortly.

Conservative MPs from all sides are now rounding on May in order to force her to drop her so-called Chequers plan.

Macron reiterated Tusk's comments and heightened the Brexit rhetoric.

While she embraced Emmanuel Macron as he returned to the room, it seemed to make little difference: the French President later told a press conference leaders of the Brexit campaign who told British voters it would be easy were "liars" and leaving the European Union was "not without costs".

"The EU are making a mistake if they think I will agree to that.I have treated the EU with nothing but respect - we expect the same.we can not accept anything that does not respect the referendum result".

The Alpine summit began with a warning from EU Council President Donald Tusk that Britain's offer on post-Brexit trade ties and Ireland - the two sticking points in the talks - must be "reworked".

It warned the bloc against making "unacceptable" demands on the Irish border, repeating her mantra that no UK PM could ever accept Northern Ireland being under a foreign customs jurisdiction.

Tusk, meanwhile, said that the upcoming October summit would be the "moment of truth" for reaching a deal, and that "if the conditions are there" another summit would be held in November to "formalize" it.

He also promised an offer to allay fears about a border being created between the United Kingdom mainland and Northern Ireland.

Under Chequers, Britain would basically remain a member of the EU's single market for goods and abide by European Union rules governing that market.

Many business chiefs and investors say a so called "no-deal" Brexit would weaken the West, panic financial markets and block the arteries of trade.

The row comes ahead of an already hard Conservative Party conference for the prime minister.

Challenges to her Brexit plan and her leadership will take centre stage at a raucous party conference in early October.

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