Brexit: Theresa May promises 'no second referendum'

UK's May seeks more compromise from EU ahead of meeting

Britain is set to unveil new proposals on the future status of the Irish border, in a bid to break deadlock in Brexit negotiations.

This was "something no British prime minister would ever agree to" she said, adding: "If the European Union believe I will, they are making a fundamental mistake".

But Mr Tusk dashed any hopes of a reprieve, saying after a working lunch to discuss the UK's plans: "Everybody shared the view that while there are positive elements in the Chequers proposal, the suggested framework for economic co-operation will not work, not least because it is undermining the single market". "Until we do, we can not make progress".

If Britain is to leave with a deal in six months, May and the Europeans must find solutions in coming weeks so parliaments have enough time to ratify the agreement.

The next major milestone in the Brexit process is fast approaching, with the October 18 summit labelled a "moment of truth" by Mr Tusk. "But our European partners if they want to reach a deal, have to find a way of understanding that there are some things we can not accept".

After a dinner of Wiener schnitzel in Salzburg, EU leaders said they will push for a Brexit deal next month but warned May that if she will not give ground on trade and the Irish border by November they are ready to cope with Britain crashing out.

The premier tried to shift the burden for future concessions on to her European Union counterparts, saying a deal could be reached "if political will is there on the other side".

Mrs May promised new proposals to reassure Dublin that it would not end up with a "hard border" with the British province of Northern Ireland but warned that she too could live with a no-deal outcome - though many around the summit in Salzburg do not believe that that is a credible threat.

Speaking after her meeting with Mr Tusk, the PM said: "We both agree there can be no withdrawal agreement without a legally operative backstop".

If 40 of May's 315 lawmakers and the opposition parties voted against a Brexit deal based on her proposals, she would fall short of the number needed to pass the legislation. The removal of border infrastructure was a key part of the Good Friday Agreement that brought peace to Northern Ireland after years of sectarian strife.

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"Our White Paper remains the only serious and credible proposition on the table for achieving that objective".

"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.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Conservative MP Stephen Crabb said the EU's attempts to "belittle" Mrs May would push people who have been advocating compromise with the European Union to think "the quicker we're out of this circus the better".

But "unfortunately we can not at this stage exclude a no-deal - it depends on both sides of negotiations".

Amongst those urging for a new referendum was London mayor Sadiq Khan, who said in the weekend that the final deal should be subjected to a vote by the public.

Labour MP David Lammy, a supporter of the Best for Britain campaign for a second referendum, said: "The Prime Minister's bluff has turned out to be a duff". Second, we have very clear principles regarding the integrity of the single market and regarding precisely the Irish border.

Leave-backing Transport Secretary Chris Grayling insisted Britain is "preparing hard" for a no-deal Brexit, although he predicted a "sensible agreement" will be reached with Brussels.

Jacob Rees-Mogg, leader of the influential European Research Group of pro-Brexit Tories and a prominent critic of the Prime Minister's plan, summed up events in Salzburg by tweeting "Chequers goes pop" with the hashtag #ChuckChequers.

Most EU leaders "would welcome a situation where there is the possibility of the British people putting things into perspective, seeing what has been negotiated, seeing the options, and then deciding once and for all", he added.

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