Theresa May demands respect from European Union in Brexit negotiations

Hugh Fox
September 21, 2018

However, those hopes were dashed when European Union council president Donald Tusk declared that Mrs May would only get to deliver a 10-minute speech at the end of dinner.

Challenges to Theresa May's Brexit plan and her leadership will take centre stage at a Conservative Party conference in early October.

After President Tusk said the other EU27 leaders "all agreed" that Chequers plans would not work, Mrs May still insisted that a deal is possible, but also admitted there was "a lot of hard work to be done".

Calling out President of the European Council Donald Tusk, the prime minister said he had rejected proposals without offering a sufficient explanation or counterproposal.

Her televised statement inside No 10 rattled the markets.

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If there is another referendum, however, British people living in other European Union countries for more than 15 years would be excluded from taking part again if the franchise is the same as last time.

And it's not just the British press who are circling around May.

Speaking in a strongly worded press conference at Downing Street, she said that the United Kingdom and EU had reached an "impasse", adding that Britain deserved to be "treated with respect" by the European Union.

Cabinet ministers Sajid Javid, Andrea Leadsom, Penny Mordaunt, and Esther McVey all reportedly want May to forget Chequers and focus on a Canada-style free trade deal, while former minister Philip Lee last night called for the Article 50 negotiation process to be extended.

Anti-Brexit campaigner Gina Miller said British officials shouldn't have been surprised. Meanwhile, Sir Keir Starmer, Labour's Brexit spokesperson, urged May to ditch her "her reckless red lines".

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Yet British politicians and diplomats were taken aback by Tusk's blunt dismissal of the Chequers plan on Thursday - and by his light-hearted Instagram post showing Tusk and May looking at a dessert tray and the words: "A piece of cake, perhaps?"

"Until we do, we can't make progress". It was not prepared for such a bruising slap down.

'Yesterday, I was in Salzburg for talks with European leaders. That didn't go down well.

And Mrs May caused frustration among her tired audience by effectively reading out the Die Welt article. "That is not the way to command a exhausted group of leaders who are all a bit sick of each other".

Macron and other European leaders raised the article over the dinner, according to The Times and other reports.

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"Brexit is a choice made by the British people and a choice that was pushed by certain people who predicted easy solutions", Macron said, referring to the Britain's June 2016 Brexit referendum campaign.

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