Theresa May demands 'respect' from European Union after Brexit humiliation

Theresa May U.K. prime minister pauses during a news conference at an informal meeting of European Union leaders in Salzburg Austria

Prime Minister Theresa May speaking in Downing Street in the aftermath of the Salzburg summit Credit: Jack Taylor/PA Wire European Council President Donald Tusk (Virginia Mayo/AP) Prime Minister Theresa May speaking in Downing Street in the aftermath of the Salzburg summit, saying that the EU must respect the United Kingdom in Brexit talks Credit: Jack Taylor/PA Wire British Prime Minister Theresa May arrives at the informal EU summit in Salzburg, Austria.

Many have voiced opposition to her plans, which they said would bind Britain into much European Union regulation in return for free trade, and some would prefer a no-deal "hard Brexit" in March, despite warnings that would ravage the British economy. The Conservative leader maintains that the deep criticisms of her plan are merely the EU's "negotiating tactics".

"At this late stage in the negotiations, it is not acceptable to simply reject the other side's proposals without a detailed explanation and counter proposals".

"We need serious engagement in resolving the two big issues in the negotiations and we stand ready".

If there was any doubt how shaken the prime minister was by the very public snub of her Chequers plan meted out by European Union leaders in Salzburg, there is none any more.

The EU insists on its own "legally binding Irish backstop" - what it describes as an insurance policy to prevent a hard border, if no other solution can be found. "Your Brexit's broken", the Daily Mirror newspaper said.

The Sun went much further: "EU Dirty Rats - Euro mobsters ambush May", it said alongside a mocked up picture of French President Emmanuel Macron and European Council President Donald Tusk cast as American gangsters with guns.

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"No one wants a good deal more than me", she said.

Mr Macron said Mrs May had tried to tell the leaders "take it or leave it" but added: 'The proposals in their current state are not acceptable. The Prime Minister admitted despite progress made, "there are two big issues we remain a long way apart" in a speech just weeks before the deadline for a possible Brexit agreement. Until we do, we can not make progress.

In a speech in Munich, the former Brexit secretary launched a scathing attack on the UK's "continental friends", singling out German politicians for wanting to see Britain fail after it leaves the EU. 'There's a lot of hard work to be done but I believe there is the willingness to do a deal.

Theresa May faces a tough dilemma with European Union leaders showing little desire to compromise and her ability to make further concessions severely restricted by a wafer-thin parliamentary majority and a rebellious caucus of Brexiteers in her party who could topple her government.

'In the meantime, we must and will continue the work of preparing ourselves for no deal.

"I actually think the Chequers proposal is not flawless but broadly represents the kind of compromising package that protects Britain's industrial base, that protects agriculture and represents a positive position to take into the negotiations", he said. To deny its legitimacy or frustrate its result threatens public trust in our democracy.

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