Theresa May demands respect from European Union in Brexit negotiations

Charlene Craig
September 21, 2018

British Prime Minister, Theresa May's Brexit plans were declared dead by the British media on Friday after what they cast as a humiliation at the hands of European Union leaders at an informal summit in Salzburg.

In a statement at Downing Street, Mrs May said European Council president Donald Tusk had rejected her plan without properly explaining why it was unacceptable or offering an alternative.

He was also backed up by Czech PM Andrej Babis, who said: "We hope that we will reach a deal but basically I'm very unhappy that the United Kingdom is leaving".

'That is not the way to command a exhausted group of leaders who are all bit sick of each other, ' one diplomat told The Times. I thought it was really appalling.

May cited Britons' vote in 2016 to leave the EU. "It was pretty insulting for someone who doesn't even run a country".

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The Brexit-supporting tabloid Sun branded bloc leaders "EU dirty rats", accusing "Euro mobsters" Tusk and Macron of "ambushing" May. I've spent 8 to 10 hours a day in the cab listening to the radio and, you know, it's all about Brexit.

'It is something I will never agree to - indeed, in my judgement it is something no British Prime Minister would ever agree to.

The pro-Brexit Daily Telegraph splashed a picture of French leader Emmanuel Macron, identified as one of May's most ruthless critics, on its front page, along with the sub-head "Disastrous negotiations threaten PM's leadership ahead of Tory conference". There's still life left in this.

The three largest opposition parties, Labour, the Scottish National Party and Liberal Democrats, have all publicly said they will oppose the prime minister's plans.

The post was widely shared online, with some saying that Mr Tusk was "trolling" the Prime Minister. She said Britain "will be bringing forward our own proposals shortly" about how to break the impasse.

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In addition to Mr Tusk's cutting post, Mrs May faced dismissive remarks from other European Union leaders after the summit.

She also said the best outcome from the negotiations was for the country to leave the bloc with a deal but exiting with no deal would be better than a bad deal. A good relationship at the end of this process depends on it.

French President Emmanuel Macron said leaders of the Brexit campaign who told British voters it would be easy were "liars" and leaving the European Union was "not without costs".

While Mrs May works on new detail on the backstop, she faces the hard prospect of finding a solution that is palatable to the DUP in Northern Ireland - on whom she relies for a majority - as well as to Europe and her own party.

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