European Union and United Kingdom at loggerheads over Brexit deal as deadline looms

Austria EU Summit

"The UK expects the same", the prime minister said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel stated, "You can't belong to the single market if you are not part of the single market, but you can develop a lot of creativity to find practical, good, close solutions".

Emmanuel Macron, the French President, was harshest of all.

May could be forgiven for looking like thunder at her post-summit press conference.

"The Chequers plan can not be take it or leave it". Even in her private meeting with Mr Tusk, he had not given her any indication of the level of criticism he was about to make.

Eurosceptic publications accused European leaders of mafia-style behaviour.

After what she described as a "frank" meeting with Mr Tusk, Mrs May - who was not present at the lunch - insisted that the plan remains "the only serious and credible proposition on the table" for resolving the border issue.

"The UK will leave on March 29 next year", she said, according to officials.

We all hoped she would at least get engagement, if not agreement, in Salzburg."The prime minister had sought to secure warm words from European Union leaders about her Brexit vision but was instead warned that she must find a solution for the Irish border issue within three weeks or risk a no-deal Brexit.Mr Tusk said: "Everybody shared the view that while there are positive elements in the Chequers proposal, the suggested framework for economic co-operation will not work."The Chequers plan would keep Britain following European Union rules on goods but not services". For Ireland, it's important not to undermine the hard-won peace after decades of sectarian tensions in neighbouring Northern Ireland.

May said Thursday she would bring forward new ideas on how keep the Northern Irish border open after Brexit, which along with the future economic relationship has proved the key sticking point in negotiations. Tusk, meanwhile, said that the upcoming October summit would be the "moment of truth" for reaching a deal, and that "if the conditions are there" another summit would be held in November to "formalize" it.

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Britain leaves the European Union at midnight on March 29 - the first time a country has ever left the world's biggest trading bloc - but solutions to outstanding Brexit issues must be found by November so parliaments have time to ratify any accord. In practice, to allow for parliamentary ratification, that means a deal must be struck in the next couple of months.

Mr Coveney made the comments as he unveiled a campaign to help Irish businesses prepare for Brexit, despite not knowing the details of any deal.

But May says any Irish deal must hinge on the EU accepting her country's proposal, which would - for a limited time - keep the United Kingdom in the European single market and customs union when it comes to trading goods.

May also addressed reporters, and said she agreed with Tusk that there could be no agreement without "a legally operative backstop [for Northern Ireland], but that backstop cannot divide the United Kingdom into two customs territories".

Some leaders expressed deep frustration.

"Brexit is the choice of the British people, pushed by those who predicted easy solutions", he said.

Macron added that it was true that Brexit negotiations had been complex and lengthy, but said: "That fact must not be exploited by those very people who are the cause of this problem, who got us into the Brexit situation and who now tell us that Europe is going from crisis to crisis".

Mr Stride told Sky News: "When we have a firm deal on the table, I suspect that those to the right of the party - the pro-Brexit wing - will be very concerned that if that deal does not prevail, they will end up in the situation where we could have a second referendum or we could end up not leaving the European Union altogether, so there is a danger of that happening if Chequers does not prevail".

The sour tone at the end of the Salzburg summit could all just be part of the negotiations dance.

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