May warns alternative to Chequers deal is no deal

Barry Gardiner Shadow secretary for international trade on 26 September 2016

The challenges in getting a deal done remained "daunting", it said.

The EU's chief negotiator said the bloc was ready "to improve" its proposal on avoiding a hard border on the island of Ireland, but stopped short of accepting British ideas for compromise, after the Brexit secretary, Dominic Raab, called on the EU to show flexibility.

However, the idea that European Union and non-EU migrants would get a level playing field in terms of immigration was the central plank on which numerous leading Brexiteers campaigned for a vote in favour of leaving the economic bloc.

The report by the Migration Advisory Committee, an independent advisory body, also urged the government to make it easier for highly skilled workers to migrate to the United Kingdom than those with lower skill sets after Brexit.

The informal gathering of European Union leaders in Salzburg gives Mrs May an opportunity to make her case for Chequers directly to the other 27 leaders, ahead of the full-scale Brussels summit in October at which final agreement is due to be reached.

Downing Street said the two prime ministers "discussed the Chequers proposal and the importance of achieving a mutually beneficial economic and security partnership".

Negotiations are a critical stage, with both sides hoping for an agreement on the terms of the UK's withdrawal and future trade relations by the start of November at the latest. As part of the EU, Britain now enjoys the freedom of goods, services, money and people to move across borders with 27 other countries in the region.

Hammond has been criticized by some Conservative Party lawmakers who say he wants to keep Britain too close to the EU. Work on the EU's side is ongoing. "But they will have to shift their position".

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Mr Barnier insisted that there would be no hard border in Ireland, claiming that any future deal will see a "set of technical checks and controls".

Environment Secretary Michael Gove has suggested any deal secured by Mrs May could be altered by a future leader. "We continue working in a spirit of good cooperation", Barnier told reporters. "We will decide who will come into this country", she said on Monday.

But many business chiefs and investors fear politics could scupper a deal, thrusting both the European Union and the United Kingdom into a "no-deal" Brexit that they say would weaken the West, panic financial markets and block the arteries of trade.

It is understood there will be no movement on any proposed changes until after the Tory party conference at the end of this month. And he said his party would "definitely" vote against Chequers when it comes to a vote in the Commons.

Leaving the EU in March 2019 without having signed a withdrawal agreement would be "chaotic and damaging" for the United Kingdom, the Exiting the EU Committee said in a report that appeared to challenge the government's claim it is close to reaching a deal.

Looking ahead to that summit, in Brussels on 18 and 19 October, he said: "It is then we shall see whether agreement we are hoping for is in our grasp".

"And actually I think it is far deeper than just the government or the government's relationship to the DUP, and I think there's evidence for that if you look at those votes and those debates".

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