Britain said on Monday it could not agree a divorce deal with the European Union without a framework pact on future relations, throwing down the gauntlet to the bloc which also says it cannot move on talks until London does. “It’s a carrot-and-stick approach - we are trying to push them into a deal,” a senior EU diplomat said of the change of tone from talking up progress last week to returning this week to no-deal preparations.
Prime Minister Theresa May appealed to wavering British voters on Sunday ahead of a defining few months in which she hopes to secure a Brexit deal and face down opponents who say her EU exit plan is too hard, too soft, or just plain wrong.
“I want voters who may previously have thought of themselves as Labour supporters to look at my government afresh. They will find a decent, moderate and patriotic programme that is worthy of their support,” Theresa May wrote in an article for the Observer newspaper.
The First Minister is to open her party’s conference by saying the people of Scotland deserve better than Westminster chaos. The “shambles of Brexit” has strengthened the case for Scottish independence, Nicola Sturgeon has declared as the SNP Conference opens in Glasgow.
“The shambles of Brexit makes the case for independence more compelling than ever – with Westminster ignoring Scotland’s voice and interests and undermining devolution with a power grab on the Scottish Parliament.”
British planes could be stopped from landing in the EU if Brexit talks fail, according to Jean-Claude Juncker. The European Commission president said at a public meeting in Freiburg: “Sometimes I have the impression that the British think that it’s us quitting Great Britain, but it’s exactly the other way around.”
Britain’s military capabilities easily dwarf those of any other EU member state apart from France. It also has diplomatic and intelligence services that are among Europe’s best resourced and most capable.
“We will further strengthen the European pillar in NATO, contribute to European security and improve Europe’s resilience to security threats,” Britain and Germany said in a document which did not mention Brexit.
If Britain genuinely wanted a good last-minute Brexit deal, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt should probably not have compared the European Union to the USSR. Brexit saga sees a revitalization of politics on both sides, allowing the country to focus its attention on the issues that really count. Before we get there, however, it looks set to be one hell of a ride.
In a speech which delighted an audience at the Conservative Party conference, Boris Johnson called for no new taxes and extra health service spending whilst the room erupted into cheers when he said May needed “to chuck Chequers”, as her Brexit proposals are known.
“This is the moment to chuck Chequers,” Boris Johnson said. “If we cheat the electorate, and Chequers is a cheat, we will escalate that sense of mistrust.”
Britain cannot be bullied, Brexit minister Dominic Raab said on Monday, sharpening the government’s criticism of the European Union for taunting Prime Minister Theresa May and souring difficult Brexit talks. “What is unthinkable is that this government, or any British government, could be bullied by the threat of some kind of economic embargo, into signing a one-sided deal against our country’s interests,” Raab said.
British Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative Party began gathering for its annual conference on Saturday, bitterly divided over her plans to leave the European Union which threatens to derail any deal and put her own job in doubt. Just six months before Britain is due to leave the EU on March 29, 2019, Theresa May has said talks to clinch a divorce deal are at an impasse.
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Theresa May became British prime minister in 2016 because of the Brexit vote in which the country decided to leave the European Union. Her predecessor, David Cameron, resigned when voters rejected his advice and opted to quit the EU after more than four decades of membership. May’s entire premiership has been devoted to making Britain’s departure happen.
“Brexit is like a Pac Man that’s consuming everything, “Allison said. “And one of the problems is that if we find a fudge on Brexit, that won’t stop the debate. We could be having this war for the next 10 years.”
Gina Miller, who took the British government to court over triggering Brexit, said if Britain leaves the European Union next year all sides must accept the result and the campaign to remain in the bloc should be abandoned.
“Whatever happens at the end of the Brexit process we have got to draw a line under it. Everyone is obsessed. Our bandwidth is completely taken up with Brexit. Our money, our time … We can’t carry on like this. We need to make the best of it.”
British opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn said to a standing ovation: “As it stands, Labour will vote against the Chequers plan or whatever is left of it and oppose leaving the EU with no deal. And it is inconceivable that we should crash out of Europe with no deal – that would be a national disaster. That is why if parliament votes down a Tory (Conservative) deal or the government fails to reach any deal at all we would press for a general election.”
With just over six months until Britain leaves the European Union, Theresa May has yet to reach a deal with Brussels on the terms of the divorce, and her plan for future trade ties has been rebuffed by both the EU and many lawmakers in her own party. Keir Starmer said: “Everybody recognises the talks are going badly and it looks as though we’re heading for a bad deal or even no deal. We, the Labour Party, are going to vote down a bad deal or we’re going to vote down no deal because that is not good for our country nor is it what people voted for.”
UK Labour’s leader Jeremy Corbyn said: “I’m not calling for a second referendum. I hope we will agree that the best way of resolving this is a general election. But I was elected to empower the members of the party. So if conference makes a decision I will not walk away from it and I will act accordingly.”
“The British people decided to leave in a (2016) referendum, we respect that. But this choice cannot lead to the EU going bust, unravelling,” Nathalie Loiseau, minister for European affairs, told France Info radio.
“That’s the message we have tried to send for several months now to our British counterparts, who may have thought we were going to say ‘yes’ to whatever deal they came up with.”