Theresa May to make statement on Brexit negotiations

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Theresa May is to issue an update on the ongoing Brexit negotiations in the wake of the rejection of her Chequers plans by EU leaders in Salzburg.

The Prime Minister will make a statement to cameras at 10 Downing Street.

The move comes after European Council President Donald Tusk ripped up Mrs May’s blueprint for Brexit on Thursday, saying it risked the integrity of the EU single market and the Northern Ireland border.

Key EU leaders including Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron also said significant progress was needed by the European Council summit on October 18 if agreement on the UK’s withdrawal deal was to be reached.

Mrs May has indicated that she will come forward “shortly” with new proposals on the thorny issue of the Irish border, which has emerged as the main obstacle to progress.

POLITICS Brexit
(PA Graphics)

Mr Raab, appearing on the BBC’s Politics Live, said: “We’ve been rebuffed on our plans without any coherent explanation as to why, there’s these sort of rather dogmatic pleas to the single market unity but our plans were very carefully crafted around that.”

He added: “We’re going to hold our nerve, stay calm and keep negotiating in good faith.

“We’ve revved up the motor of these negotiations, I’ve been out there a lot more frequently to get motoring, to make progress and the EU have just yanked up the handbrake and for the negotiations to go forward they’re going to have to take their hand off the handbrake.”

Mr Raab also criticised Donald Tusk for posting a picture on social media of himself offering the Prime Minister a cake with the caption “sorry, no cherries”.

He said: “I think some of the way that it was done, social media against the Prime Minister didn’t feel like very statesman-like behaviour.”

The Brexit Secretary went on to praise Mrs May, telling the BBC that she was “a very stoic, resilient character”.

He added: “There’s a big question mark about whether the EU is really serious about the substance of these negotiations.”

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