Leo Varadkar: Brexit extension not an alternative to backstop

Donald Tusk has asked for 'concrete proposals' from Theresa May

"But I have to say the period since I made that speech we have had a very different approach from the European Union a more constructive approach that has led to the situation we're in now where all but one or two issues have been resolved".

The group called on Mrs May to "reset" the negotiations and ditch her Chequers Brexit blueprint in favour of a Canada-style free trade agreement.

The UK government argues the EU's backstop proposals would divide the UK down the Irish Sea - and Parliament has passed amendments contradicting the EU's interpretation.

"You can't, for instance, require that Maltese factories maintain certain standards, with their associated costs, but then allow products to enter the United Kingdom from somewhere where the same level of standards are not compatible with those of the Union, since this would not maintain a level playing field", Muscat highlighted, "I'm not saying this will necessarily be the case, but this is what we need to prevent form happening".

Varadkar also warned that a return of customs posts on Ireland's border with Northern Ireland could lead to violence returning to the British province.

Otherwise it is a no-deal Brexit.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4′s Today programme on Friday, foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt said that Tory MPs must rally behind their leader, adding: "Theresa May has not buckled, she has stood firm".

Mrs May did not come forward with the new "concrete proposals" on the border issue which European Council president Donald Tusk has said are needed to break the deadlock.

"Time is of the essence, but still we do not have a solution on all fronts, for example we still have to deal with the Irish situation, there is still no really satisfactory answer to this; this can not be completely separated from the question of what our relationship is going to look like in the future".

Theresa May was facing a backlash from Brexiteers after indicating she is ready to consider extending Britain's transition out of the European Union for a further year, to the end of 2021.

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Shorten said last week Labor would oppose the government's bill , because the consequences of it are too far reaching. The Australian Government has steadfastly refused to allow any refugees arriving by boat to enter the country.

Endorsing the plan saw new calls for Mrs May to quit, with critics branding the idea "mad" amid claims it could cost Britain an extra £15billion in European Union subscription fees.

She said: 'We do not know what they want, they do not know themselves what they really want - that's the problem.

"I think "soft Brexit" seems to be unfortunately out of the question", Stubb said of the possibility that the U.K.might maintain close economic ties to the EU.

But Lithuanian president Dalia Grybauskaite said there would be "no breakthrough" this week because Mrs May lacked a strong mandate from her party and parliament.

British and the European Union leaders are expected to further discuss probable next steps to advance in talks to avoid a no-deal scenario following an impasse reached over the Irish border last week.

This is the issue that is now blocking progress in Brexit talks.

"Mrs. May's acceptance of an extension to the transition period will take us to the next general election, which may mean we never leave at all", complained Nigel Farage, the former leader of the UK Independence Party.

In a lighthearted moment, they were joined by Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel, and his Luxembourg neighbor Xavier Bettel, who is said to have picked up the tab because he was celebrating his re-election on Sunday.

European leaders gathered in Brussels seemingly have a new idea to try to break the current stalemate in Brexit negotiations, but it could prove costly for Prime Minister Theresa May and the United Kingdom. Barnier emphasised the "unanimity on the part of the EU" that there should be no closed border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.



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