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Brexit: EU will not reopen withdrawal agreement

Brexit: EU will not reopen withdrawal agreement

"Now the MPs in London should be responsible and know if they want to have the best possible deal or to go in the direction where they don't know what will come out" he said.

"Trust me", May had told her peers, according to a British official.

May was due to meet EU President Donald Tusk in Brussels for what he called "last-minute talks" before joining the other European leaders.

"Our UK friends need to say what they want, instead of asking us to say what we want", he said.

But after Mrs May made her pitch to the other 27 leaders, they changed the text to remove both of the helpful statements.

He said it was "the British parliament's time" to decide whether to accept or reject May's deal.

This is uncomfortably close to Britain's scheduled exit day on March 29, 2019 - and Juncker said he was stepping up preparations in case it leaves with no deal in place.

"The prime minister pulled this important vote last week on the basis that she was going to get meaningful changes to her Brexit deal, She has obviously not".

The Taoiseach said he was always willing "to offer clarifications, explanations, and we can discuss what form that takes, but what we won't be doing as a European Union is renegotiating the Withdrawal Agreement".

The other 27 European Union leaders have agreed to draft a reassuring political statement, but remain firmly opposed to renegotiating a hard-won withdrawal deal they endorsed less than three weeks ago.

"It is the Union's firm determination to work speedily on a subsequent agreement that establishes by December 31, 2020, alternative arrangements, so that the backstop will not need to be triggered", the 27 EU leaders said after hearing May out.

Earlier in the day, May had confronted the European commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker, accusing him of calling her "nebulous" in a press conference.

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Earlier this week, she canceled a vote on her deal as it looked nearly certain to be defeated.

"Europe should prepare for the possibility, now morphing into the near probability, that Britain will require an extension of time to the Article 50 process, either to negotiate further or more likely to conduct a new referendum", said Blair, who has emerged as one of the leading campaigners in favour of a "People's Vote" or a second chance for the British public to vote on Britain's membership of the EU.

Lawmakers said she told them she recognised that the party did not want her to lead them into the next election, a gesture that could help her win over some wavering MPs on Wednesday night.

Donald Tusk has accused MPs of showing a lack of respect for the British prime minister as the European Union turned its fire on the Commons over its failure to back the Brexit deal.

With a United Kingdom parliamentary vote on the deal delayed until next month, May wants Europe to sweeten the offer with "reassurances" that measures to prevent the return of a hard border with Ireland would not last indefinitely.

"Next week she must open cross-party discussions, and if Corbyn won't play ball, talk to SNP, Plaid Cymru and backbench Labour MPs."

"The problem is the MPs in London", highlighting how May's fortunes to get the deal through fully lie with the House of Commons.

A draft version of the summit's conclusions provided a glimmer of hope for the PM, stating that the backstop "does not represent a desirable outcome" for the EU.

"By resolving it in the withdrawal agreement we can make sure no side uses the threat of a border in Ireland as part of leverage in the future relationship talks", he said.

Mr Tusk added: "We have treated Prime Minister May with the greatest respect, all of us".

However, some leaders have indicated there may be room for "clarification" on the interpretation of some terms, and it is this nuance that May is hoping will help to make the deal more palatable to the British.

Warning of the risk of an "accidental" failure to get a deal, she said a majority in parliament wanted to avoid that but needed assurances the backstop was not a "trap".


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