Take May’s Plan or Face No-Deal Brexit, May’s Second-in-Command Tells EU
The EU should accept the Brexit plan put forth by British Prime Minister Theresa May or face the prospect of a no-deal scenario, the second most important person in the UK Cabinet, Cabinet Office Minister David Lidington, has warned.
British Prime Minister May’s Brexit blueprint, the controversial Brexit White Paper also kown as the Chequers plan, has already dismissed by the EU as contradicting the principles of its single market.
The EU’s counter-proposal essentially boils down to the two forming a customs union following the rules of the single market, which include a number of unpalatable requirements for the Brexiteers of all levels.
Speaking to a French business conference on Wednesday, however, Lidington said the European Commission’s proposals remained unacceptable, and appealed for a compromise on Brussels’ part.
A deal is supposed to be reached by the European Council summit on October 18, 2018, while Brexit is set for March 29, 2019.
With the Brexit deadlines rapidly approaching and no deal in sight, May’s second-in-command declared that there were only two choices on the table.
“With exactly seven months until the end of Article 50 process and less than two months ahead of the October European Council, we face the choice between the pragmatic proposals we are discussing now with the European Commission, or the risk of there being no deal,” Lidington said, as quoted by BBC News.
“The alternative models do not meet the level of ambition or the outcome we all want to see delivered. So, we need the EU to engage with us on our positive vision of the future relationship,” he added.
In a version of his speech released to journalists beforehand, the UK Cabinet Office Minister had simply warned of “no deal”.
Because of his warning to the EU, however, Lidington was declared to be “arrogant” by the People’s Vote campaign for another EU referendum.
“Good deal, bad deal or no deal, Brexit is a big deal and it must be for the people to decide,” the campaign stated.
Meanwhile, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, said in Berlin that the Union was ready to grant the UK unprecedented terms on the condition that principles of the single market were not compromised.
“[We are] prepared to offer Britain a partnership such as there never has been with any other third country,” Barnier said.
“We respect Britain’s red lines scrupulously. In return, they must respect what we are. Single market means single market … There is no single market a la carte,” he told reporters.
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