Theresa May attended a summit in Salzburg, Austria, today. The EU leaders met to discuss the Brexit deal that remains up in the air – and it’s bad news for Theresa. Every single EU leader, according to Donald Tusk, believes that her trade plan simply “will not work.”
At the end of the summit, Tusk told the press that the emergency summit in November might not even happen, and that the European Council would decide next month “whether conditions are there to call an extra summit.”
The issue appears to be that EU leaders refuse to accept any deal that would split the UK into two customs territories – whereby Northern Ireland would have different customs rules to Great Britain. This was the first opportunity for all EU member states to consider the trade proposals in the Chequers plan, primarily because they consider it as undermining the Single Market.
May is digging her heels in though. She once admitted she was a “bloody difficult woman” and I don’t doubt that. I just wish she would be a bloody difficult woman and fight for the Brexit we voted for. She has said that the Chequers deal is the “only plan” on the table, pushing back against the EU and potentially making No Deal more likely. Doesn’t sound so bad, really, does it?
She’s even suggested that the EU’s criticism of her plan is merely a “negotiating tactic,” so she’s definitely upping her game in the negotiations. Can you imagine if she’d been working this hard all along, and doing it with Brexit in mind?
I wonder whether the stories about her last minute “pivot” are true. If the EU really aren’t bluffing over her trade plans, then what would Theresa prefer? A Canada Plus deal, or no deal?