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Tue, 24 November 2020

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By Lord Garnier
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Theresa May hit by Brexit setback as EU leaders 'demand right to sign-off deal'

Theresa May hit by Brexit setback as EU leaders 'demand right to sign-off deal'
2 min read

Theresa May has hit a fresh hurdle in the Brexit negotiations as individual EU states demanded the chance to scrutinise any deal reached with Britain.

Ambassadors for the EU27, including France and Germany, told the European Commission they would not be forced into accepting any agreement. 

According to the Guardian, they told the Commission they would need “the best part of a week” to go through the text of any final proposal. 

A senior EU diplomat told the paper: “The member states insisted that they cannot be in the dark on this, it is just too important.” 

Another added that “we are far away from a high fives moment” following the briefing. 

“The UK needs to go back to London, get a clear mandate and start talking again in Brussels," they added.

“There are levels of fluid. Things are fluid between the Commission and the UK, and then things are fluid in London.”

Meanwhile, The Sun reports that the EU has rejected a proposed mechanism for the UK to end a temporary customs arrangement with Brussels as a way of avoiding a hard Irish border.

The latest developments came as the Prime Minister was rocked by another frontbench resignation over Brexit. 

Jo Johnson – who is the brother of pro-Brexit ex-foreign secretary Boris Johnson – resigned his post as transport minister last night. 

In a highly-charged resignation statement, the previously loyal MP, who backed Remain in the 2016 vote, said the Prime Minister's "travesty" Brexit proposals would leave the UK "economically weakened, with no say in the EU rules it must follow and years of uncertainty for business".

And he warned against an alternative "no deal" Brexit that would "inflict untold damage on our nation".

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