Published: Fri, September 21, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

European Union also preparing for 'No Deal Brexit'

European Union also preparing for 'No Deal Brexit'

BMW this week said it would move the annual maintenance shutdown period for its British Mini plant to just after Britain is due to leave the European Union in case there is no Brexit deal.

Pro-Brexit members of May's Conservative Party also oppose her deal, saying it would keep Britain tethered to the bloc, with no say over its rules and unable to strike new trade deals around the world.

"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", he said.

"Those people are liars".

But one reporter at the press conference said May was "visibly angry and shaking throughout it".

However hard Brexiter David Davis, the former Brexit secretary who resigned in protest over the Chequers plan, predicted on Thursday morning the European Union would push Britain into a deal that would "likely look an terrible lot like [EU] membership".

But Tusk said that was now contingent on May reworking her Chequers plan by Ocotber.

In another blow to May's hopes of winning over European Union leaders, French president Emmanuel Macron told reporters that Brexit was a project which had been pursued by "liars".

May promised new proposals to reassure Dublin that it would not get a "hard border" with the British province of Northern Ireland but warned she too could live with a no-deal outcome - though many round the summit table in picturesque Salzburg see that as more of a negotiating tactic than a credible threat.

Should a no deal be rejected by MPs as predicted, and with the Brexit date set in law for March 2019, the only feasible solution to solve such a constitutional crisis would be to either call a General Election or to refer to question back to the public in a second referendum before the March Brexit deadline.

A key point of contention between London and Brussels is the border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, which will become the post-Brexit land border between the United Kingdom and the European Union.

For Ireland, it's important not to undermine the hard-won peace after decades of sectarian tensions in neighboring Northern Ireland.

"If we feel that we are able to finalise and formalise our deal in November, I will call this extraordinary meeting, but not as an emergency but as a punchline of effective negotiations before October and during our October EU council meeting", he said.

Chief EU negotiator Michel Barnier said Tuesday that the EU is ready to adapt its proposal on the Irish border in order to "de-dramatize" the issue. "But I believe there is a willingness to a do deal". But he also said he thought there would be a deal. "However we said we think it should be done at the earliest possible stage", the source said.

As for European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, he said that that the EU executive has prepared "in detail" for a "no deal" Brexit, "so be happy, don't worry".

"If Brexit tells us one shows us that those who say: one can do easily without Europe, that it will all go well, that it is easy and will bring lots of money - are liars", Macron said.

Adding: "It's even more true since they left the day after so as not to have to deal with it".

For the moment there is still no direct threat to her leadership.

The sour tone at the end of the Salzburg summit could all just be part of the negotiations dance.

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