Brexit: May rebuffed by European Union leaders in Brussels

Brexit: May rebuffed by European Union leaders in Brussels

As Juncker puts his hand on May's arm to placate her, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte is seen striding across the room to restore the peace.

"After having checked what I said last night she was kissing me."

Meanwhile, just hours after former prime minister Tony Blair urged European Union leaders and Mrs May to extend Article 50 to allow for a public vote to resolve the Brexit deadlock, Nigel Farage said he believed the United Kingdom could face a second referendum.

Theresa May's tough European Union summit has seen her return from Brussels without the legal alterations to the Brexit deal demanded by MPs opposed to the agreement. "We can not in these negotiations take no deal off the table".

However German Chancellor Angela Merkel insisted it was for Britain to take the next steps, saying: "The 27 member states have given assurances. And now we expect Great Britain to respond".

"I have no mandate to organize any further negotiations".

Juncker, captured by cameras earlier on Friday during an apparently heated exchange with May, said: "We have to bring down the temperature" around Brexit talks.

Jo Johnson urged the Prime Minister to let the Commons vote on her Brexit deal next week as he expressed concern at the way Downing Street is treating Parliament.

Mrs May's hopes of a legally binding commitment on the backstop from the EU27 were dashed yesterday, when Mr Juncker said there could be "no real changes" to the Withdrawal Agreement negotiated over 18 months.


But Mr Juncker criticised Mrs May's lack of clarity over what she was seeking from the future relationship.

'So we would like, within a few weeks, our United Kingdom friends to set out their expectations for us because this debate is sometimes nebulous and imprecise and I would like clarifications'.

The Prime Minister told the summit that a package of assurances around the backstop could "change the dynamic" at Westminster.

After meeting the British PM, Leo Varadkar said: "I have to say some of the suggestions she made, made sense, others I thought were hard but what I said unequivocally is that we want to be helpful, we want to help this deal over the line, but are willing to talk about explanation, clarification, statements explaining what the deal means but we couldn't have anything that contradicted the withdrawal agreement".

Mrs May managed a smile at her press conference when a reporter asked if she had had a "trying week", jokingly replying: 'Has something happened this week?'

Cabinet ally Michael Gove has said today he still thinks her deal - thought to be down for a Commons vote on January 14 - will pass. Mr Hunt said: "I think every MP has a corner of their heart that says they would like to have a crack at the top job".

Afterwards, she called for MPs on all sides to come together, but aides said this referred to Conservatives and their Northern Irish allies, who are also opposed to the Brexit deal.

The rather tumultuous week started with Theresa May deferring the Brexit internal party poll as she failed to convince her peers about the advantages of her own legislative draft.

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