Macron Says Pro-Brexit Politicians 'Liars', Rejects May 'Chequers' Plan

Michael Gove and Boris Johnson. The elections watchdog is expected to find that official Brexit campaign Vote Leave which had support from senior Tories including Mr Johnson and Mr Gove broke spending rules during

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May addresses a press conference at the end of the EU Informal Summit of Heads of State or Government at the Mozarteum University in Salzburg, Austria, on September 20, 2018.

She flatly rejected a European Commission backstop proposal for Northern Ireland to remain within the EU customs area after Brexit, arguing that this would draw a border down the Irish Sea.

Meanwhile, PM May is promising Ireland that it will not see a "hard border" with Britain, though PM May is also warning that she too is not afraid to see a hard exit from the European Union, bringing the round-table discussions in Salzburg to a rough standstill as both sides throw around the concept of a hard-Brexit as more of a negotiating tactic than an outright threat.

In addition, the complex issue of the Northern Ireland has produced the problem that if the United Kingdom totally withdraws from the Customs Union and Single Market it could be left with a hard border in Ireland or a border running through the Irish Sea.

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

Europe's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier this week indicated a shift in his position, saying any checks between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom could be away from the border. He wants to see a major breakthrough by the time the leaders meet again in Brussels on October 18-19. "Tusk said a Brussels summit on October 18 would be a "moment of truth" to overcome remaining big problems and leaders penciled in the weekend of November 17-18 to formalize a final agreement".

"This is all the more true because they left the next day, so they didn't have to manage it".

The premier tried to shift the burden for future concessions on to her European Union counterparts, saying a deal could be reached "if political will is there on the other side".

A No 10 source said Mrs May will tell the other leaders in Salzburg that a "disorderly" Brexit can still be avoided with "good will and determination" on both sides.

The EU27 also set an October deadline for a solution to the Irish border issue, despite the Prime Minister confessing just hours before during a private meeting with her Irish counterpart Leo Varadkar she felt it was "impossible" to come to a compromise in just a few weeks.

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Speaking after her meeting with Mr Tusk, the PM said: "We both agree there can be no withdrawal agreement without a legally-operative backstop".

"We're sending her into negotiate, sitting across the table from 27 other nations, we're asking her to bring something back for the country".

"We've already compromised hugely with the Chequers proposals".

"Europe isn't an a la carte menu", French President Emmanuel Macron said.

"Not least because it risks underlining the single market..."

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

She again rejected the EU's "backstop" plan to avoid a hard border with Northern Ireland.

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

If an agreement is to be sealed by March 29, May and her European Union partners must find an acceptable answer in coming weeks so parliaments have enough time to ratify the agreement. But she showed no sign of backing down from the proposals hashed out with her Cabinet at her country retreat of Chequers in July - so controversial with her own party that they provoked the resignation of her foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, and Brexit secretary, David Davis.

He described Brexit as a "a choice pushed by certain people who predicted easy solutions" and claimed that "those who said you can easily do without Europe, that it will all go very well, that it is easy and there will be lots of money, are liars".

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