Mays Brexit trade plan wont work: Donald Tusk

UK's May seeks more compromise from EU ahead of meeting

Earlier EU leaders called the prime minister's bluff by slamming her post-Brexit plan for trade and refusing to rule out a no-deal scenario.

Macron did not say who he was targeting with his "liars" remark, but Britain's former foreign secretary Boris Johnson and former Brexit negotiator David Davis - who both campaigned strongly for Britain to leave the European Union - resigned in recent months during talks on the divorce deal.

The main sticking point continues to be how to handle the border between Northern Ireland, which will remain part of the United Kingdom, and the Republic of Ireland, which will continue to be part of the EU.

Despite reports of a friendly spirit at a summit in Salzburg, Austria, the fundamental differences remained.

Tusk said of her Chequers proposals that "the suggested framework for co-operation will not work, not least because it risks undermining the single market" of seamless movement of goods, services, capital and persons. He wants to see a major breakthrough by the time the leaders meet again in Brussels on October 18-19.

They've spent two days in Salzburg trying to do just that, but with no clear solution in sight, the sides have tried to ramp up pressure on each other.

Summit chair Donald Tusk said he was more optimistic about getting agreements both to ease Britain out gently and to sketch out a future free trade pact. "We are hiring extra staff and officials, bringing in IT system", he said.

"It must be clear that there are some issues where we are not ready to compromise".

The Prime Minister said the Chequers blueprint is the only proposal on the table as the deadline approaches, with the next leaders' meeting in October set to be a "moment of truth".

May has been looking to keep trade in goods in the single market of the European Union after Britain leaves but not for services.

European leaders were equally blunt, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel saying the EU27 were agreed that, "in the matter of the single market, there can be no compromises".

"Europe isn't an a la carte menu", French President Emmanuel Macron said, noting that "as it stands, the Chequers plan seems to be a take-it-or-leave-it plan".

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"It's not acceptable to simply reject the other side's proposals without a detailed explanation and counter proposals", May said.

Mrs May addressed EU27 leaders over wiener schnitzel with potatoes and Austrian wine, pitching her Chequers proposal before sit-down meetings begin on Thursday.

Paul Whiteley, a professor of politics and government at the University of Essex, explains the latest on the unfolding Brexit process.

But London says this would undermine the U.K.by treating Northern Ireland differently from the rest of the country.

But Mrs May indicated the United Kingdom will unveil new measures on the future status of the Northern Irish border in a bid to break the deadlock.

But Europe is insisting on a "backstop" that would keep Northern Ireland in the customs union under EU rules while a future trade relationship is negotiated. It strengthens the hand of the Brexiteers and calls into question her leadership in a way that wasn't the case 48 hours ago."David Davis, the former Brexit secretary, is to publish his alternative plan for a free-trade deal before this month's Tory conference in a move created to further embarrass Mrs May.Nicky Morgan, chairwoman of the Treasury select committee, said: "Chequers has been in difficulty for some time".

Former Brexit secretary David Davis, who quit the government in July, said on Thursday that the Chequers plan was "devoid of democracy" and "worse than no deal".

"Brexit is a choice made by the British people and a choice that was pushed by certain people who predicted easy solutions", Macron said, referring to the Britain's June 2016 Brexit referendum campaign.

Any Brexit deal will include a withdrawal agreement and transition period to smooth Britain's exit from the bloc.

Eventually one side - or more likely, both - "is going to have to blink to avoid no deal, and Downing Street is hoping that the PM has done enough to get Brussels to budge more", says The Times's Matt Chorley.

It all suggests a fractious summit in Brussels next month.

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