WATCH: Dominic Raab hits out at 'unstatesmanlike' Donald Tusk as war of words erupts

Posted On: 
21st September 2018

Dominic Raab has branded EU chief Donald Tusk “unstatesmanlike” after he dramatically rejected Theresa May’s latest Brexit offer.

Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab lashed out at Brussels officials after Brexit talks stalled
Credit: 
BBC

The Brexit secretary also lashed out at Brussels officials, saying they had “yanked up the handbrake” during talks “without any coherent explanation”.

The Prime Minister was left humiliated following a crunch summit in Salzburg yesterday when Mr Tusk declared that her Chequers Brexit plan "will not work".

Major blow for Theresa May as EU leaders say her Chequers plan for Brexit 'will not work'

Chequers plan for Brexit will boost Ukip, David Davis warns Theresa May

EU leaders 'unanimously' want a second Brexit referendum, says Maltese PM

The European Council chief said the 27 remaining member states were united in their rejection of her offer to maintain close economic ties with Brussels in the future.

And he mocked the Prime Minister with an instagram post referring to Britain’s desire to cherry pick the best aspects of EU membership.  

But hitting back, Mr Raab told BBC2’s Politics Live: "Some of the way that it was done - social media against the Prime Minister didn't feel to me like very statesmanlike behaviour.”

The Brexit Secretary added: "I certainly think you've got a Prime Minister who has gone out there with a detailed set of proposals and on one of the key aspects, which is the economic partnership, we've been rebuffed on our plans without any coherent explanation as to why.

“There's these sort of dogmatic pleas to the single market unity, but our plans were very carefully crafted around that, without any credible alternatives in its place.

“We're going to keep our nerve, keep calm and keep negotiating in good faith.

“But we've revved up the motor of these negotiations and the EU have just yanked up the handbrake and if the negotiations are going to go forward they're going to have to take their hand off the handbrake and that's very clear."

Speaking immediately after Mr Tusk’s damaging intervention yesterday, Mrs May expressed hope that an agreement could still be salvaged, but added that Britain remained ready to walk away.

She said: "Yes, concerns have been raised, I want to know what those concerns are.

“There's a lot of hard work to be done, but 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.

“So that if we get to the position where it is not possible to do a deal, then the British people can be confident that we will have done everything to ensure that we make a success of leaving the European Union, regardless of the terms on which we do so."