Pressure Builds on U.K., European Union to Reach a Brexit Deal

FILE- Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May at 10 Downing Street in London Dec. 11 2017

FILE- Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May at 10 Downing Street in London Dec. 11 2017

Mr Johnson said negotiations based on the Chequers plan had so far seen the European Union take "every important trick", adding, "The UK has agreed to hand over GBP 40 billion of taxpayers' money for two-thirds of diddly squat [nothing]".

Mrs May is facing a turbulent few months in parliament as she attempts to win agreement for her Brexit proposals, known as the Chequers plan, both within her own party and from the EU.

The prime minister's official spokesman delivered the attack yesterday, just hours after an article by Mr Johnson was published containing severe criticism of Mrs May's Brexit proposals.

He used an interview with German newspaper "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung" to rubbish the Chequers strategy for a future UK-EU relationship, saying he is "strongly opposed" to the proposals.

He added: "Boris Johnson resigned over Chequers".

In what was seen by many at Westminster as an opening salvo in a bid to oust the prime minister, the ex-foreign secretary insisted the United Kingdom was "lying flat on the canvas" in withdrawal talks.

The open warfare among Conservatives comes less than a month before the party's conference and threatens to destabilise the government further in the middle of a critical phase in Brexit talks.

Former Brexit secretary David Davis confirmed in an interview that he will vote against any deal with the European Union based on Theresa May's Chequers compromise.

"What we need at this time is serious leadership with a serious plan and that's exactly what the country has with this prime minister and this Brexit plan", he said.

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Mr Johnson accused "some members" of the Government of deliberately using the Irish border situation to "stop a proper Brexit" and effectively keep Britain in the EU.

"That actually leaves us in a position where they dictate our future rules without us having a say at all, so it's a worse deal". It is also claimed dozens of Tories are ready to vote the plans down, with Mr Johnson said to be on manoeuvres for a leadership bid.

Mr Johnson said: "They may puff about "cherry-picking" the single market".

Meanwhile, EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier made matters more hard by criticising PM May's Chequers plan as marking an "end" to the European project.

An ally of Theresa May, former First Secretary of State Damian Green, told BBC Radio 4 on Monday that it would be "difficult but not impossible" for the Chequers plan to win the support of MPs.

The UK has started to release papers on contingency planning for a "no deal", but so far has not clarified important matters such as whether it would continue to pay for British expatriate pensioners' healthcare in countries like France. Connexion has also been unable to obtain reassurance from the Brexit Ministry or the DWP that the UK has committed to uprating British state pensions paid in countries like France whether or not there is a deal.

"Well surely, it's time for some serious people to take over the negotiations?"

Australian-born Crosby masterminded the Tories shock general election win in 2015, but "is said to be motivated by "revenge" after No 10 blamed the strategist for last year's botched General Election", reports the Mail on Sunday.

Britain is due to leave the European Union in March, but negotiations have stalled amid divisions within May's Conservative government over how close an economic relationship to seek with EU.

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