Theresa May's patience with the European Union runs out as she demands respect

Elias Hubbard
September 21, 2018

"Believe me, as somebody who has been so close to these negotiations I have lived and breathed numerous issues involved", said Davis, adding: "As Germans know as well as anybody, the four freedoms of the single market are sacrosanct and indivisible".

'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.

Instead she dug in - firstly on the fact she views her Chequers plan as the only viable option for an economic relationship with the European Union that respects the referendum, and secondly on her refusal to countenance any backstop arrangement for the Irish border that would separate Northern Ireland from the EU.

A key promise of the Brexit referendum was that it would allow Britain the freedom to strike trade deals with other countries including Australia and the United States, which it can not do for as long as it remains in the EU.

"Everybody shared the view that while there are positive elements in the Chequers proposal, the suggested framework for economic cooperation will not work", Mr Tusk said. Brussels is familiar with the theatre of diplomacy, where being seen to hold out to the bitter end can help sell the unpopular back home and some diplomats believe a deal could take until Christmas.

Cabinet colleagues reiterated her message on Friday.

Mrs May added the negotiations were at an "impasse", saying: "Yesterday, Donald Tusk said our proposals would undermine the single market". He didn't explain how in any detail or make any counter-proposal. It would mean breaking up our country.

Speaking of May's proposals, Merkel said, "You can't belong to the single market if you are not part of the single market, but you can develop a lot of creativity to find practical, good, close solutions". If there is no agreement that is acceptable to the United Kingdom then we are preparing for a no deal'.

"Neither side should demand the unacceptable of the other, we can not accept anything that threatens the integrity of our union as they can not accept anything that threatens the integrity of theirs".

"What we can't compromise on is those fundamentals that we need: a transition period, we need to make sure the common travel area is protected, that the rights of citizens in Northern Ireland are protected and also that we have a legally operable backstop that assures us that a hard Border won't emerge on the island of Ireland". She's facing increasing calls to dump her vision of what the future trading relationship should be, and speculation is rife that some in her party will try to oust her.

"The referendum was the largest democratic exercise this country has ever undergone", said May, who has repeatedly ruled out a second vote following the original 2016 referendum. To deny its legitimacy, or frustrate its result, threatens public trust our democracy.

"I will not overturn the result of the referendum nor will I break up my country".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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