‘We can’t help you’

EU shuns May’s over­ture, slams lack of clar­ity in pro­pos­als

The Weekend Post - - World -

BRI­TISH Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May has im­plored Euro­pean Union lead­ers to help her sell the Brexit di­vorce deal at home, only to be told her pro­pos­als are not clear enough for the bloc to of­fer a help­ing hand.

In­stead, the EU said it would pro­ceed with plans for a “no-deal” Brexit on March 29, with con­tin­gency mea­sures to be pre­sented next week.

Mrs May came to an EU sum­mit in Brus­sels seek­ing sup­port af­ter a week in which her Brexit deal was pil­lo­ried in Par­lia­ment and her job threat­ened by fel­low Con­ser­va­tives.

She pleaded with the 27 other EU lead­ers to “hold noth­ing in re­serve” in help­ing her sell the Brexit deal to hos­tile Bri­tish politi­cians.

“There is a ma­jor­ity in my Par­lia­ment who want to leave with a deal, so with the right as­sur­ances this deal can be passed,” she said, warn­ing her EU coun­ter­parts that fail­ure could mean Bri­tain crash­ing out of the bloc.

EU of­fi­cials, how­ever, seemed ex­as­per­ated at the lack of con­crete new ideas from Bri­tain. A pro­posal for en­cour­ag­ing word­ing of­fer­ing to give the UK fur­ther as­sur­ances was left out of the lead­ers’ fi­nal sum­mit con­clu­sions on Brexit.

“I do find it un­com­fort­able that there is an im­pres­sion per­haps in the UK that it is for the EU to pro­pose so­lu­tions,” Euro­pean Com­mis­sion Pres­i­dent Jean-Claude Juncker said.

He said the Bri­tish must “set out their ex­pec­ta­tions” within weeks if they want to avoid tum­bling out of the EU with­out a deal.

Mrs May had ear­lier ac- knowl­edged ma­jor progress was un­likely at the two-day sum­mit, even as she tried to get tweaks to the with­drawal pack­age that she could use to win over op­po­nents.

The 27 other EU na­tions re­main adamant there can be no sub­stan­tive changes to the agree­ment on Bri­tain’s with­drawal and de­clared the deal was “not open for rene­go­ti­a­tion”.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.