May challenges EU Leaders on Brexit plans

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British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Friday Brexit talks with the European Union had hit an impasse, challenging the bloc to come up with their own plans a day after its leaders savaged her proposals.

At a summit in Austria on Thursday, EU leaders rejected May’s “Chequers” plan, saying she needed to give ground on trade and customs arrangements for the UK border with Ireland.

The British media said the response had left her proposals in tatters, and May angrily struck back in a televised address from her Downing Street office, saying neither side should expect the impossible from the other.

Throughout this process, I have treated the EU with nothing but respect,” May said. “The UK expects the same. A good relationship at the end of this process depends on it.”

Sterling extended its losses as May spoke, falling to as low as $1.3080, about 1.4 percent on the day, putting it on course for its biggest one-day drop this year,

over growing fears Britain could leave the EU without any deal.

May has said the Chequers proposals for trade with the EU, which would resolve arguments over the border of Northern Ireland with the Irish Republic, were the only way forward.

No-deal scenario

EU leaders in Salzburg repeated their view that the plans would undermine their single market.

After the summit, EU leaders said they would push for an agreement next month, but both sides have warned they are planning for a no-deal scenario.

It’s not acceptable to simply reject the other side’s proposals without a detailed explanation and counter proposals,” May said.
So we now need to hear from the EU what the real issues are, what their alternative is, so that we can discuss them. Until we do, we cannot make progress.”

May, who commands a majority in parliament with the support of a small pro-Brexit Northern Irish party, said she could not agree to any deal which treated Northern Ireland differently to the rest of the United Kingdom.

The EU insists that there can be no hard border between the British province and the Irish Republic, with Northern Ireland remaining in the bloc’s customs union or effectively establishing a border in the Irish Sea if no alternative deal is re