The president of the European Council has hit back at Theresa May after the Prime Minister hit out over the rejection of her Chequers Brexit plan and demanded more “respect” in talks.
In a statement released on Friday evening Donald Tusk blamed in part Ms May’s conduct for the rejection of her proposals, warning that EU leaders had responded to a “tough and in fact uncompromising” stance by the prime minister by hardening their own position in the run-up to a key summit in Salzburg.
He argued that the British government had known the EU was going to reject the proposals “in every detail” for weeks because the two sides has been in contact.
Mr Tusk's comments appear to explain why the rebuffing of the prime minister by EU leaders was harsher than most observers had expected in the run-up to the Salzburg meeting.
“The UK stance presented just before and during the Salzburg meeting was surprisingly tough and in fact uncompromising,” he said.
“The response of the EU27 leaders was to reiterate our trust in chief negotiator Michel Barnier and to reiterate our position on the integrity of the single market and the Irish backstop.”
Ms May had written a defiant article in a German newspaper and gave a tough-talking speech to leaders over dinner in the summit which appeared to rub some member states the wrong way.
Urging compromise, Mr Tusk added that he was a “close friend of the UK and a true admirer of Prime Minister May” and said “I remain convinced that a compromise, good for all, is still possible”.
The prime minister gave a surprise speech at Downing Street this afternoon warning the EU to treat Britain with “respect” and suggesting that rejecting her proposal without presenting an alternative at such a late stage in talks was “not acceptable”.
It came after all 27 EU leaders agreed after a discussion that the prime minister’s proposals on the single market and customs union, agreed with her Cabinet in July would “not work” and were not acceptable to them.
Mr Tusk added: “We studied the Chequers proposals in all seriousness. The results of our analysis have been known to the British side in every detail for many weeks. After intensive consultations with member states, we decided that for the good of the negotiations, and out of respect for the efforts of PM May, we will treat the Chequers plan as a step in the right direction.”
Ms May said the EU had to explain what its problems with the proposals are: though it has in fact already done so at length in public.
The two key planks of Chequers are a “common rulebook” of regulations, where the UK would follow some parts of the single market, but not others; and a customs system where the UK would collect tariffs on the EU’s behalf.
The EU said the common rulebook would amount to cherry-picking the single market and could see the UK undercut European firms; on customs, Brussels says it does not want to delegate responsibility for the collection of its revenues to a non- member state.
Following the closing of the Salzburg summit Mr Tusk further humiliated Ms May by making a joke at her expense on Instagram.
سایت تابناک از انتشار نظرات حاوی توهین و افترا و نوشته شده با حروف لاتین (فینگیلیش) معذور است.