‘We can’t help you’
EU shuns May’s overture, slams lack of clarity in proposals
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”.