Macron Says Pro-Brexit Politicians 'Liars', Rejects May 'Chequers' Plan

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But the EU leaders believe it will undermine the single market by giving British companies a competitive advantage and pose a threat to the "European project".

As EU leaders lined up to demand more compromises from the UK, May tried to pile the pressure back on Brussels.

EU Council President Donald Tusk opened a crucial summit in the Austrian city of Salzburg with a stark warning that Britain's position on key issues must be "reworked".

But just minutes after he spoke, May insisted that her Brexit plan was the "only serious and credible" proposal on the table.

He wants to see a major breakthrough by the time the leaders meet again in Brussels on October 18 to 19.

He added that he wants a deal finalised this autumn and urged leaders to hold another summit in mid-November as part of a roadmap to get the job done.

She made clear the high stakes of the negotiations over the coming weeks if a deal is to be struck this autumn in time for ratification ahead of March 29, 2019 Brexit day.

"Taking the United Kingdom off the Brexit cliff edge without knowing where it lands would be the most irresponsible thing any prime minister has done in a very, very long time", she told the BBC. Then, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said that the sides remain "no closer to a Brexit deal than in March". "We are hiring extra staff and officials, bringing in IT system", he said.

'We are ready to improve this proposal.

Mr Tusk insisted that despite the EU's reservations about the Chequers plan, he is "a little more optimistic" about the prospect of a "positive outcome".

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"Europe isn't an a la carte menu", French President Emmanuel Macron said.

"I understand referencce has been made to the integrity of the Single Market".

Campaigners for the "People's Vote" suggest that a motion in the House of Commons at the time of the vote could be used to secure a referendum, as could amendments to Brexit legislation.

The details of the future trade relationship between the European Union and Britain do not need to be worked out before Brexit day in March next year, because there is a 20-month transition period until the end of 2020.

One of the biggest stumbling blocks is the need to prevent border posts being erected between the British province of Northern Ireland and European Union member Ireland.

Discussions are focussing on the future partnership, the final phase of talks, potentially including a further summit in November, and resolving the long-running issue of how to avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

If no deal can be found with the European Union, and with Theresa May having already promised Parliament a meaningful say on the final deal, the scenario is now looking extremely likely to cause an unprecedented constitutional crisis.

George Soros, the billionaire who earned fame by betting against the British pound in 1992, contributed 400,000 pounds (€453,000) through his foundations to a campaign group which is seeking to halt Brexit, the group's chairman said yesterday (7 February).

He described Brexit as a "a choice pushed by certain people who predicted easy solutions" and claimed that "those who said you can easily do without Europe, that it will all go very well, that it is easy and there will be lots of money, are liars".

In response, May said Britain was preparing to leave the bloc without an agreement on the terms of its departure unless there is a proposal it deems acceptable.

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