Brexit deal is 'not renegotiable' says Macron

Mail Online | 1/30/2019 | Tim Sculthorpe, Deputy Political Editor For Mailonline
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The EU shot down Theresa May's hopes of renegotiating Brexit tonight insisting the deal on the table is already the 'best available'.

European Council chief Donald Tusk, French president Emmanuel Macron and the Irish government moved to kill off the PM's hopes despite her emerging victorious in a series of Commons votes.

PM - Approval - MPs - Plan - Brussels

The PM won approval from MPs for her plan of returning to Brussels to demand more concessions on the Irish border backstop.

But Mr Macron warned the deal was 'not renegotiable', and Mr Tusk also underlined the challenge the premier now faces by immediately rejecting the idea.

Backstop - Part - Withdrawal - Agreement - Withdrawal

'The backstop is part of the Withdrawal Agreement, and the Withdrawal Agreement is not open for renegotiation,' he said.

Speaking in Cyprus, Mr Macron said: 'As the European Council in December clearly indicated, the Withdrawal Agreement negotiated between the UK and EU is the best agreement possible.

'It is not renegotiable.'

Mr Macron called on Mrs May to present the EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier with her next steps for avoiding a no-deal Brexit on March 29, which he said 'no-one wants, but ... we must all, despite everything, prepare for'.

Mrs - May - EU - Commission - President

Mrs May spoke to EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker this morning before vowing to her Brexiteer rebels she would push for a renegotiation.

He is thought to have repeated the EU position there would be no renegotiation.

Statement - Outcome - Tonight - Westminster - Government

In a statement issued following the outcome of tonight's Westminster votes the Irish government said: 'The EU position on the Withdrawal Agreement, including the backstop, is set out in the conclusions of the December meeting of the European Council. It has not changed.' 'The Withdrawal Agreement is not open for re-negotiation.'

Earlier Manfred Weber, a senior MEP tipped to succeed Mr Juncker as European commission president, suggested Spain could make a new grab for Gibraltar and the £39billion...
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