PM May to Tusk: EU Draft on Brexit Undermining British Unity

Boris Johnson's comparison of the Irish border to north London was dismissed by Labour MPs

Boris Johnson's comparison of the Irish border to north London was dismissed by Labour MPs

May said that the proposal threatened Britain's constitutional integrity, and she will be expected to outline how she will avoid a hard border while allowing Britain and Ireland to adopt different customs rules.

In a speech Friday, May said that would break up the U.K.'s common market and is unacceptable.

However, she acknowledged "there will be ups and downs over the months ahead" in the "rough and tumble" of the Brexit talks and that "no-one will get everything they want".

He said Jeremy Corbyn's commitment to a customs union with the EU to maintain a soft border and maintain tariff-free trade was "sensible", but warned Labour will "very soon find that we've got to move further in order to escape the dilemma ourselves".

The speech agreed on Thursday by her top team of ministers, themselves deeply divided on how to unravel more than 40 years of union, has been billed by aides as "a real step forward".

Addressing the EU, May said: "We know what we want".

But she also proposed Britain having access to the EU's financial markets in return for having similar standards to those of the European Union, which would in turn keep access to Europe's biggest and deepest markets in London.

May was accused of pandering to hard Brexiters when she promised during a three-day trip to China this month to "battle the EU" over its proposal to promise long-term residency rights to those who arrived after 29 March 2019.

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The Prime Minister's official spokesman declined to comment on whether any ministers had suggested amendments to any elements of the speech, but said work continues on finalising the text.

British Brexit supporters accuse the European Union of being inflexible and seeking to punish Britain for leaving, while European Union leaders say Britain is trying to cherry-pick access to their markets while absenting itself from following rules it does not like. European owned groups already trading internationally often serve customers in the United Kingdom with their own staff, but had not necessarily established a permanent entity here due to the simple access provided by the single market and customs union rules.

"I think we have taken the wrong turn", he told a crowd at the Abu Dhabi Ideas Weekend.

"She (May) has given a number of important reassurances today, which I welcome", Varadkar said.

The hardline Democratic Unionist (DUP) allies in Belfast on whom she relies for a slim majority denounced the European Union draft as "constitutionally unacceptable" and "economically catastrophic", as it would distance Northern Ireland from mainland Britain. In December, we saw attempts by European Union figures to throw Mrs May a lifeline after the DUP threatened to withdraw its backing for the Tories over the Article 50 agreement.

On her political battles on Brexit at home, the Prime Minister will say: "We must bring our country back together, taking into account the views of everyone who cares about this issue, from both sides of the debate".

A third test will commit to "protect people's jobs and security" despite warnings from within government that none of the available options can prevent a decline in economic growth.

The EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier welcomed the "clarity" on Britain's position, as well as "a recognition of trade-offs".

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