European Union and United Kingdom at loggerheads over Brexit deal as deadline looms

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However, to avoid being defeated on the crucial bill, Theresa May promised Grieve's group that she would give Parliament "a meaningful say" on the final deal.

Mr Tusk, who has insisted Britain can not "cherry-pick" benefits of European Union membership to retain, took a pop at the prime minister by putting a photo of them choosing cakes at the summit on Instagram.

She stated: "Of course it is concerning that we are still in a place where it is not clear to everybody what is going to happen and when and how it is going to happen. And I'm still confident that we will reach agreement", he said.

Tusk's comments came after May's speech at the summit dinner on Wednesday evening - a chance to circumvent the legalistic European Union chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier and pitch her Chequers plan directly to her continental counterparts.

Tusk said of her so-called Chequers proposals that "the suggested framework for cooperation will not work, not least because it risks undermining the single market" of seamless movement of goods, services, capital and persons.

"There is a lot of common ground on the basis of [the United Kingdom plan], especially in the area of domestic security and also foreign cooperation and other issues, but there is still a lot of work to do on the question of how future trade relations will look".

But EU leaders clearly were not feeling nostalgic.

"It was clear today that we need substantial progress by October and that we then aim to finalise everything in November", Merkel said.

With Britain's departure from the European Union looming - March 29, 2019 - there are growing concerns that a deal on the post-Brexit relationship may not be cobbled together in time to ensure a smooth and orderly British exit.

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

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French President Emmanuel Macron rammed home the message: "It was a good and fearless step by the prime minister", he said of her trade plan.

The French said May's proposals "are not acceptable as they stand, particularly in the economic realm" because they "don't respect the integrity of the single market". For Ireland, it's important not to undermine the hard-won peace after decades of sectarian tensions in neighbouring Northern Ireland.

May's former Brexit minister David Davis has said up to 40 lawmakers from the Conservative Party will vote against her Brexit plans.

The impasse increases the domestic pressure on Mrs May who will face demands from Tory activists to "chuck Chequers" at their party conference which begins on 30 September.

Over dinner in Salzburg on Wednesday evening, May told the other leaders that Britain would not delay Brexit or hold a second referendum.

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".

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

'This is all the more true because they left the next day, so they didn't have to manage it.' Mr Macron said it was true that Brexit negotiations had been complex and lengthy.

'So don't worry. Be happy, don't worry.' Mrs May was buoyed ahead of the talks when the EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said he hoped a deal could be sealed in six to eight weeks. Tusk has said that October will be the "moment of truth".

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