The EU tells Theresa May her Chequers Brexit plan 'will not work'

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May had gone to Salzburg and pitched Chequers in person to the EU27, hoping for encouraging words for her plan, which seeks to smooth the path for post-Brexit trade with the continent, and keep borders as open as possible, by closely tying British regulations and tariffs to Europe's.

Donald Tusk, European Council president, said May's signal proposal to create a British-European free trade regime covering agriculture and goods - but not services - was not acceptable.

European Union leaders say that is "cherry-picking" on the part of Britain, which would be able to go its own way in services and on other issues such as the freedom of movement of labour.

"Those people are liars".

And in her press conference, Theresa May seemed frustrated that her proposals perhaps have not been properly digested or considered yet.

There is "almost unanimous" backing among European Union leaders for Britain to hold another referendum on Brexit, Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said Thursday.

May however said her Brexit plan is the "only serious and credible" proposal on the table that can guarantee the frictionless movement of goods across borders, and ensure there is no return to a hard frontier between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Former Brexit secretary David Davis, who quit the government in July, said on Thursday that the Chequers plan was "devoid of democracy" and "worse than no deal".

"We can not afford a "no deal" Brexit".

"The suggested framework for economic cooperation will not work, not least because it risks undermining the single market".

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For Ireland, it's important not to undermine the hard-won peace after decades of sectarian tensions in neighboring Northern Ireland. But Britain rejects the EU's proposal, which would keep Northern Ireland inside the bloc's customs union while the rest of the United Kingdom leaves.

"If the political will is there on the other side I am confident we will reach a deal which is in the EU's interests as well as the UK's", she said. But that backstop can not divide the United Kingdom into two customs territories, and we will be bringing forward our own proposals shortly. We gave people their choice - people made their choice.

Tusk said the "moment of truth" in negotiations would come at a European Council meeting scheduled for next month.

Despite reports of a friendly spirit at a summit in Salzburg, Austria, the fundamental differences remained.

With both sides digging in, "the assumption that an eleventh-hour deal will be clinched is predicated - on both sides - on the firm belief that the other will capitulate on the backstop question", says The Daily Telegraph's Peter Foster.

"Brexit is. pushed by those who predicted easy solutions", he said.

"Those who explain that we can easily live without Europe, that everything is going to be alright, and that it's going to bring a lot of money home are liars", said Macron.

May faces a fight with angry Conservatives at her party's conference in 10 days.

Jean-Claude Juncker, who heads the EU Commission, is one of the leaders whom May failed to impress.

"All these things will come back and we'll see more and more pressure, and (May) will have a deal she won't be able to bring back to the House of Commons because it'll be lumbered with loads of other European Union demands, so she's going to have to have something else", Davis told the BBC.

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