British PM Theresa May demands respect from European Union in Brexit negotiations

David Davis: Antagonistic Germans want to punish UK for Brexit

Earlier on Friday, Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May said she will never agree to a border in the Irish Sea in a speech outside Downing Street.

With just over a week to go until the Conservative Party conference, the Brexiteers on the Tory backbenches will feel emboldened by Salzburg. French President Emmanuel Macron called pro-Brexit U.K. politicians "liars" who had misled the country about the costs of leaving the 28-nation bloc.

The judgment of British newspapers was brutal.

In her press conference yesterday she looked rattled, perspiring as she tried to answer questions on a situation that had gone off script - the summit that was supposed to generate some positivity for her approach, ending in what some newspapers described as "humiliation".

In response to May's statement, the Confederation of British Industry and other business bodies said they wanted to see constructive dialogue, not rhetoric.

Mrs May says that her plan, known as the Chequers proposal, is the only viable option as it is the only blueprint that can avoid a hard border emerging on the island of Ireland, protect businesses with intricate European supply chains, and deliver on the referendum result.

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Anti-Brexit campaigner Gina Miller said British officials shouldn't have been surprised.

The rocky summit dashed British hopes of a breakthrough in stalled divorce talks, with just six months to go until Britain leaves the bloc on March 29. The Remain side edged the vote in Northern Ireland with 55.77% of the vote.

"But the EU is proposing to achieve this by effectively keeping Northern Ireland in the Customs Union".


And she promised the people of Northern Ireland that, if there was no deal, the Government would "do everything in our power to prevent a return to a hard border".

But without a final plan for the breakup, numerous one million Poles and other European Union citizens living in the United Kingdom, and many British nationals on mainland Europe, feel uncertain about the future, as do some EU companies working directly or indirectly with British-based firms. You are our friends, our neighbours, our colleagues.

"While both sides want a deal, we have to face up to the fact that despite the progress we have made there are two big issues where we remain a long way apart".

Responding to May's speech, Jacob Rees-Mogg, the leader of the backbench Tory Brexiteers, said: "The PM has shown steely resolve at the eleventh hour and is standing up to European Union bullies".

The prime minister's economic plans, which would end free movement and keep frictionless trade in goods but not services, were given equally short shrift.

Her statement came as it emerged that Mark Carney, the Bank of England governor, had briefed the cabinet that a no-deal Brexit could mean a fall in GDP in the rest of the European Union of between 1 per cent and 1.25 per cent, even if some "mitigations" were put in place.

But shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer accused May of being "in denial".

The U.K., she said, would be waiting for the E.U.to come back with reasonable proposals.

Despite the somber mood music, May hinted there could be a way forward. "We need serious engagement in resolving the two big issues in the negotiations and we stand ready".

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