One day after the confrontational EU summit in Salzburg, British Prime Minister Theresa May has flagged. She called for new Brexit proposals from Brussels. The negotiations are in a dead end.
“I have always treated the EU with respect. Great Britain expects the same, “said May in unusually sharp words in London. Back cover had previously received May from the local press. The tabloid “The Sun” printed on Friday a photomontage of two armed gangsters, the French President Emmanuel Macron and the EU Council President Donald Tusk show. The newspaper described the politicians as “dirty EU rats” and wrote: “Euro gangsters attack May from ambush”.
“No, no, no” wrote the newspaper “Metro” in German on its front page. Other papers called the events in Austria “humiliating” for May.
“No agreement is better than a bad agreement,” stressed the head of government in London. Britain must prepare for that. She will neither reverse the outcome of the referendum nor break her country apart. But the EU’s previous proposals have gone beyond that.
She suggested a third way, May said. It was unacceptable that it would be rejected without providing detailed reasons or counterproposals.
London and Brussels are still far apart in two areas: future economic relations and how to avoid border controls between Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland in the future.
In both questions May wants to be relentless. Britain will never accept Brussels’ proposal that Northern Ireland remain in the Customs Union. That would mean the breakup of the country. Even a whereabouts in the European Economic Area is unacceptable.
At the informal EU summit in Austria, May’s proposals on the previous day had met with rejection. The European Union had surprisingly increased the time pressure on May. Instead of allowing an extension of the deadline to a special summit in mid-November, as proposed by EU Council President Donald Tusk, the summit decided to stick to the original plan for mid-October.
The Brexit negotiations have been tough for months. Great Britain wants to leave the European Union at the end of March 2019.
May not only has trouble with the EU, but is also under pressure in her own party shortly before the party congress. It ruled since a failed election last year with a gossip-thin majority and is threatened by revolts from several sides. Again and again is therefore speculated about their resignation.