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Hunt warns EU: Don't mistake politeness for weakness

By Tom Rayner, political correspondent
The foreign secretary warned the EU not to "mistake British politeness for weakness" as he backed Theresa May's refusal to change her Brexit approach.
Reiterating the prime minister's demand that Brussels engage more seriously with the UK's proposals, Jeremy Hunt urged EU leaders to "step back from the abyss, to sit down and talk to us about how we can make these sensible, concrete proposals actually work"."If the EU's view is that just by saying no to every proposal made by the UK we will eventually capitulate and end up with either a Norway option or indeed staying in the EU - if that is their view then they've profoundly misjudged the British people", he told BBC Radio 4.While acknowledging a "no-deal" scenario would be "bumpy" and "difficult" for the UK, Mr Hunt insisted there would be "disruption" on both sides of the Channel - suggesting up to a million jobs could be lost across the EU.His comments come as German newspaper Der Spiegel reported that Angela Merkel's government has assessed that the impact of a no-deal Brexit on the German labour market would be "relatively small".
Hunt warns EU: Don't mistake politeness for weakness

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May demands respect as she admits EU talks are at an 'impasse'
In a statement from Downing Street yesterday, the prime minister declared Brexit negotiations had reached an "impasse" and went on to accuse EU leaders of failing to treat the UK with "respect".During the meeting, EU Council President Donald Tusk said the prime minister's Chequers proposals - which would retain common European rules for goods, but not services - would "not work" as a future economic relationship between the UK and the EU.In response to Mrs May's comments, Mr Tusk attempted to smooth over the row.He insisted he was a "true admirer" of the prime minister and that her proposals were a "step in the right direction".:: EU tells Theresa May Brexit deal 'still possible' despite Chequers rejection
Hunt warns EU: Don't mistake politeness for weakness

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Donald Tusk said he was a 'true admirer of the PM'
But he also suggested the decision to make clear EU countries remain unified behind their chief negotiator Michele Barnier was the result of what he described as the "surprisingly tough and uncompromising" approach the UK had put forward in Salzburg.Mrs May received praise for her defiant Downing Street statement from across her party, including Brexiteer Jacob Rees Mogg, who welcomed her "steely resolve" in the face of "EU bullies"
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