European Union warns Britain it must 'rework' Brexit plans

  • European Union warns Britain it must 'rework' Brexit plans

European Union warns Britain it must 'rework' Brexit plans

"If the choice we face is between no deal and no detail, then an extension to the Article 50 negotiation period must be on the table as the only way to avoid an economic cliff edge, and allow all alternative options to be considered", she said.

British prime minister Theresa May arrives at the informal European Union summit in Salzburg.

A no-deal Brexit is "not an option" for the United Kingdom motor industry and must be ruled out now to avoid damaging one of the EU's most valuable economic assets.

Other scenarios could include a snap general election, or the Prime Minister calling for one in the event of a no-deal scenario looking likely.

However not everyone is happy with the plan and some of her most senior ministers resigned because they didn't agree with it.

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".

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte labeled the Brexit negotiations "a balancing act" and the leaders will have further opportunities to thrash an agreement out when they meet again in Brussels on October 18 and again in mid-November.

Thursday's agenda in Salzburg involves the leaders discussing internal security matters before talks over lunch - in Mrs May's absence - about Brexit.

At the end of the two-day informal summit in Salszburg, Mr Tusk said they would decide next month whether there had been sufficient progress in the Brexit talks to call a special summit in November to finalise a deal.

There are fears it could take an hour to process a lorry after Brexit
There are fears it could take an hour to process a lorry after Brexit

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.

Brussels has baulked at May's proposals for a future customs arrangement and for Northern Ireland.

Earlier, EU officials insisted May had to give more ground.

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.

Irish PM Leo Varadkar appears to share that opinion, telling reporters in Dublin last night: "As things stand, we are planning for a situation in 2021 where there will need to be east-west checks and controls, though not between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland".

Theresa May says she wants to have agreed a deal to leave the European Union, and to have a clear idea of the UK's future relationship with the European Union, in time for that deadline.

BMW announced yesterday that it would be closing the Oxford Mini factory for "several weeks" immediately after Brexit to preempt any component-supply disruptions if a no-deal agreement is reached between Britain and the EU. "So I don't think this really takes us anywhere, we're still stuck in a pattern of deadlock on this", Euronews' London correspondent Vincent McAviney told Good Morning Europe on Wednesday.

European Union officials are minded not to paint May into a corner, aware that she faces increasing opposition to her plans in her Conservative Party and needs a victory of sorts to persuade a reluctant parliament to back a deal.