Merkel ally says Brexit talks can’t move on

The Scotsman - - News Digest - By AN­GUS HOWARTH

and un­nec­es­sary” and “pos­i­tively harm­ful to the na­tional in­ter­est”.

Labour Party Brexit spokesman Paul Blom­field said fix­ing a day in law was “a gim­mick” by “a prime min­is­ter so weak she is try­ing to tie her own hands be­hind her back”.

Pro-brexit Con­ser­va­tive MP Bernard Jenkin prompted an an­gry re­sponse by telling col­leagues: “Any MPS who voted for Ar­ti­cle 50 but then do not want to fix the date are open to the charge that they don’t want us to leave the Euro­pean Union.”

Fel­low Tory Anna Soubry could be heard say­ing: “You dis­grace, Bernard. You’re a dis­grace.”

Gov­ern­ment whips face a bat­tle to push the leg­is­la­tion through the Com­mons af­ter fail­ing to ap­pease pro-eu rebels with plans to put the Brexit deal agreed in Brus­sels for­ward in a sep­a­rate piece of leg­is­la­tion. At a heated meet­ing on Mon­day, MPS re­jected the of­fer, say­ing it gave them a “take it or leave it” de­ci­sion be­tween the gov­ern­ment’s Brexit deal or no deal at all.

0 First Min­is­ter Nicola Stur­geon says she and Theresa May inched A se­nior ally of Ger­man chan­cel­lor An­gela Merkel has warned Theresa May that Brexit trade talks will not be given the green light next month.

Ahead of a meet­ing with the Prime Min­is­ter on to­day, Ger­man MEP Man­fred We­ber said it “doesn’t look like” the De­cem­ber sum­mit of Euro­pean lead­ers will agree to move on to the next phase of the ne­go­ti­a­tions.

EU lead­ers have de­manded ‘suf­fi­cient progress’ is made on a Brexit fi­nan­cial set­tle­ment, cit­i­zens’ rights and the Irish bor­der be­fore trade talks can be­gin.

Mr We­ber, pres­i­dent of the cen­tre-right EPP group in the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment, said “the clock is tick­ing” and the UK had to put for­ward fur­ther pro­pos­als.

Mean­while, the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment’s chief Brexit rep­re­sen­ta­tive, Guy Ver­hof­s­tadt, warned that the UK’S of­fer on cit­i­zens’ rights does not go far enough.

In a let­ter to Mr Davis, ob­tained by the Associated Press, the Bel­gian MEP said that “un­der your pro­pos­als EU cit­i­zens will def­i­nitely no­tice a de­te­ri­o­ra­tion of their sta­tus as a re­sult of Brexit”.

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