Donald Tusk says Brexit compromise ‘still possible’
EU Council chief Donald Tusk has said a compromise on Brexit is “still possible” after Theresa May insisted she was willing to crash out of the EU with no deal.
The Prime Minister came out fighting after EU bosses shut down her Chequers deal by saying elements of it would not work.
Mrs May said the two sides remained a “long way apart” and accused Europe of being “disrespectful” by rejecting Chequers without providing a viable alternative.
European Council president Donald Tusk responded on Friday afternoon, saying he remained “convinced” a compromise was still possible.
He said: "The response of the EU27 leaders was to reiterate our trust in chief negotiator Michel Barnier and to reiterate our position on the integrity of the Single Market and the Irish backstop.
“While understanding the logic of the negotiations, I remain convinced that a compromise, good for all, is still possible.
“I say these words as a close friend of the UK and a true admirer of PM May."
The response comes after Mrs May publicly rebuked the Eu for dismissing her plans “without explanation”.
In an unusual move, Mrs May chose to make a statement from inside 10 Downing Street rejecting the EU's wish for Britain to remain in the European Economic Area.
She said: "In plain English, this would mean we’d still have to abide by all the EU rules, uncontrolled immigration from the EU would continue and we couldn’t do the trade deals we want with other countries.
“That would make a mockery of the referendum we had two years ago."
On the EU's demand that Northern Ireland effectively remain the single market and customs union in order to avoid the return of a hard border with the Republic of Ireland, the Prime Minister said: "It is something I will never agree to - indeed, in my judgement it is something no British Prime Minister would ever agree to.
“If the EU believe I will, they are making a fundamental mistake.
"Anything which fails to respect the referendum or which effectively divides our country in two would be a bad deal and I have always said no deal is better than a bad deal."