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EU stresses its 'respect' for May over Brexit plan

By Greg Heffer, political reporter
Theresa May has demanded "respect" from the EU after the bloc's leaders rejected her Brexit strategy - prompting claims from Brussels she is being "uncompromising".
Amid the fallout from an acrimonious EU summit in Salzburg, Austria, the prime minister used a surprise statement in Downing Street to issue an ultimatum to the bloc to accept her Chequers plan or come up with counterproposals.She declared the UK will continue preparations for a "no-deal" Brexit, amid what she recognised as an "impasse" over "two big problems" in negotiations.The prime minister's address on Friday came 24 hours after the EU firmly stated her Chequers proposal for the future UK-EU relationship "will not work" at a summit in Salzburg, Austria.The EU's stance immediately ramped up pressure on Mrs May to abandon her Chequers plan, which is also unpopular with Conservative Brexiteers, and renewed fears of the UK leaving the EU in March next year without an agreement.
EU stresses its 'respect' for May over Brexit plan

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European Council president Donald Tusk sought to smooth over the row
Responding to Mrs May's stern words on her return to the UK, European Council president Donald Tusk sought to smooth over the row by describing how EU leaders, "out of respect for the efforts" of Mrs May, had agreed to "treat the Chequers plan as a step in the right direction".However, Mr Tusk repeated the bloc's hostility to the UK's proposals on the Irish border issue and the future UK-EU trade relationship.He also claimed Mrs May's position at the Salzburg gathering was "surprisingly tough and, in fact, uncompromising".Yet, he added: "While understanding the logic of the negotiations, I remain convinced that a compromise, good for all, is still possible."I say these words as a close friend of the UK and a true admirer of PM May."The prime minister will now face demands to offer an alternative to her Chequers proposal from her top ministers during a cabinet meeting on Monday, according to the Daily Telegraph.
EU stresses its 'respect' for May over Brexit plan

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Theresa May made an unscheduled statement on Brexit negotiations in Downing Street
In her Downing Street address earlier, Mrs May had told EU leaders: "Throughout this process, I have treated the EU with nothing but respect."The UK expects the same. A good relationship at the end of this process depends on it."At this late stage in the negotiations, it is not acceptable to simply reject the other side's proposals without a detailed explanation and counter proposals.

"So we now need to hear from the EU what the real issues are and what their alternative is so that we can discuss them. Until we do, we cannot make progress."The prime minister's address came 24 hours after the EU firmly declared her Chequers proposal for the future UK-EU relationship "will not work" at a summit in Salzburg, Austria.The EU's stance immediately ramped up pressure on Mrs May to abandon her Chequers plan, which is also unpopular with Conservative Brexiteers, and renewed fears of the UK leaving the EU in March next year without an agreement.But, speaking in Downing Street on Friday, the prime minister stuck to her proposals as a "third option" between a Norway-style relationship with the EU and a "basic trade deal".Mrs May claimed the former option would "make a mockery" of the Brexit vote, as it would keep the UK as a rule-taker from Brussels, along with continued "uncontrolled immigration from the EU" and a bar to signing new trade deals.The latter option of a basic trade deal would leave Northern Ireland "permanently separated economically from the rest of the UK by a border down the Irish Sea", the prime minister added.Repeating her belief "no deal is better than a bad deal", Mrs May warned: "It is something I will never agree to - indeed, in my judgement it is something no British prime minister would ever agree to."If the EU believe I will, they are making a fundamental mistake."
EU stresses its 'respect' for May over Brexit plan

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Brexit: Chequers proposal explained
Confessing to the perilous state of negotiations after the EU rejected her Chequers plan, Mrs May said: "Yesterday [European Council president] Donald Tusk said our proposals would undermine the single market."He didn't explain how in any detail or make any counterproposal. So we are at an impasse."
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