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Theresa May warns that Brexit talks are ‘at an impasse’ and UK must prepare for no deal

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Theresa May speaks at a summit of EU leaders in Salzburg, 20 September 2018.Reuters / Leonhard Foeger

  • Theresa May warns that Brexit talks are
    deadlocked.
  • The Prime Minister says she will not accept EU
    proposals on the Northern Ireland border.
  • She accuses the EU of failing to show the UK
    respect.
  • She says Britain will now step up it’s preparations for
    walking out without a deal.

 

LONDON — Brexit talks are now “at an impasse,” and the UK must
step up its preparations for leaving the EU without a deal, Prime
Minister Theresa May warned today.

In a dramatic statement in Downing Street, May accused the EU of
failing to show Britain “respect” in negotiations, following a
day in which EU leaders publicly humiliated the prime minister
following talks in Salzburg.

“‘We must and will prepare ourselves for no deal,” May said,
adding that the UK would not accept any Brexit deal that risked
the breakup of the United Kingdom.

She added: “Nobody wants a good deal more than me, but they
should be clear: I will not overturn the result of referendum,
nor will I break up my country…

“Anything which fails to respect the referendum or which
effectively divides our country in two would be a bad deal and I
have always said no deal is better than a bad deal.

May’s speech followed the end of summit talks on Thursday which
had initially been billed as a chance for European diplomats and
leaders to offer Theresa May words of support and shore up
backing for a Brexit deal at home.

But that goodwill evaporated after Theresa May — with one eye on
placating Tory Brexiteers ahead of next week’s party conference —
bluntly rejected overtures from Michel Barnier for a “new,
improved” solution for the Irish border, warning the UK was
prepared to walk away from a deal if the EU did not offer
significant compromises.

A summit characterised by goodwill quickly turned sour, with
European Council president Donald Tusk warning that Chequers
“will not work.”

French president Emmanuel Macron piled on May’s proposals,
warning: “We all agreed on this today, the proposals in their
current state are not acceptable, especially on the economic side
of it. The Chequers plan cannot be take it or leave it.”

This is a developing story. More updates follow.

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