British automaker group meets with European Union, says Brexit could cost billions

UK's May seeks more compromise from EU ahead of meeting

Is the UK finally close to agreeing a Brexit deal?

Theresa May's having dinner tonight at the Felsenreitschule, an old theatre in Salzburg well known from the closing scenes in "The Sound of Music".

On July 6, 2018, after a marathon 12-hour showdown at Chequers, May finally managed to secure a Brexit plan to present to the EU. The entire Brexit project was sold to the British people by "liars" who immediately fled the stage, unwilling to see their project through.

However, Barnier made clear that the EU's proposal will put a border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom - despite May's fears that it would risk splitting the union.

The leaders of the 27 countries that will remain in the European Union after Brexit held a summit in Salzburg in Austria on Thursday, after which European Council president Donald Tusk briefed May.

May had already been forewarned of what they would say a few minutes earlier in a private meeting with Tusk, which she conceded was "frank".

That plan "remains the only serious and credible proposition on the table", she said.

Speaking after her meeting with Mr Tusk, the PM said: "We both agree there can be no withdrawal agreement without a legally-operative backstop".

"Everybody shared the view that while there are positive elements in the Chequers proposal, the suggested framework for economic co-operation will not work, not least because it is undermining the single market", he said.

Tusk said May has just four weeks to amend her plan - or perhaps face the dreaded prospect of leaving the European bloc with no deal - the so-called doomsday scenario.

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar also said that his government was making large-scale preparations in the event of a "No Deal Brexit".

Former Brexit Secretary David Davis - who quit the government in July over opposition to May's plan - predicted Wednesday that the European Union would press Britain to make more concessions.

May tried to take the setback in her step, welcoming clarity on the deadline for a deal and promising to bring forward new plans on how to avoid a hard border in Ireland.

Mrs May has just told a clammy, tiny room full of journalists: "I believe that there is willingness to do a deal but let nobody be in any doubt, that as I've always said, we are preparing for no deal". Discussions are focussing on the future partnership, the final phase of talks, potentially including a further summit in November, and resolving the long-running issue of how to avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

"We are striving to make a compromise possible".

Number 10 had not hoped for a breakthrough at this summit in Salzburg.

He said Brexit "demonstrated that those who explain that one can get by easily without Europe - that it will all go well, that it is easy and brings in a lot of money - are liars". The other leaders will then discuss their response without her.

But their tokenistic effort was a misreading of Theresa May's political position - especially ahead of what is likely to be a hard annual conference with her own Conservative Party.

"All these things will come back and we'll see more and more pressure, and (May) will have a deal she won't be able to bring back to the House of Commons because it'll be lumbered with loads of other European Union demands, so she's going to have to have something else", Davis told the BBC.

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