The European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator told a delegation of British MPs that Theresa May’s proposals for a future trade deal were “dead”, it has been claimed.
Michel Barnier held talks with the Brexit select committee on Monday to discuss progress in the negotiations, and made it “crystal clear” that the Chequers plan was unacceptable, according to Labour’s Stephen Kinnock.
During exchanges with Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab, the anti-Brexit campaigner insisted Brussels had spiked the plans.
He said: “I can tell you absolutely, unequivocally, without a shadow of a doubt that Chequers is dead in the water.
Sterling jumped on Wednesday afternoon following reports that Britain and Germany are preparing to drop key Brexit demands, paving the way to a deal in the coming months.
Berlin is ready to accept a less detailed agreement on Britain’s future trade ties with the EU in an effort to get a Brexit deal done, according to Bloomberg.
Downing Street insisted there was no change in the UK’s position on the need for “proper” information about the future relationship to be available by the time Parliament votes on the withdrawal agreement.
Mrs May, meanwhile, directly challenged Jeremy Corbyn to rule out a second referendum on Britain’s withdrawal from the EU, but the Labour leader sidestepped the calls.
The pair clashed at Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons shortly after the UK’s Brexit preparations were branded “incompetent” by former Bank of England governor Mervyn King.
In a damning assessment, Lord King told the BBC the Government had been left without a credible bargaining position.