United Kingdom foreign minister Hunt urges EU: Get serious in Brexit talks - global

Theresa May

Under a plan agreed by May's ministers at her Chequers country retreat in July, Britain would maintain a "common rulebook" with the European Union for goods to ensure smooth cross-border trade in manufacturing and agricultural and food products.

Her plan envisions a UK-EU free trade area for goods through a common rule book.

Macron bluntly said May's Brexit proposals, known as Chequers after the country house where they were agreed by the British cabinet in July, were "unacceptable".

"Insulting her on social media, getting to these stand-offs where you are calling people liars and so on is not the way we are going to get a solution to this hard situation".

In a phone call on Thursday evening, one of them reportedly said to another Tory strategist: "What are you doing in November - because I think we are going to need an election".

"Throughout this process, I have treated the European Union with nothing but respect", said the PM. That is why, following months of intensive work and detailed discussions, we proposed a third option for our future economic relationship, based on the frictionless trade in goods.

But while Brexiteer MPs lauded her for standing up to the European Union there were also fresh calls to abandon her Chequers plan - which many Tories believe would keep Britain too close to the European Union - for a simple Canada-style free trade deal.

Speaking on the BBC on Saturday, he said the Prime Minister was in earnest when she warned she would walk away from the negotiations rather than accept a "bad deal".

Mrs Sturgeon said a no deal or "no detail" Brexit was not acceptable following the Prime Minister's update.

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Responding to a ferocious fightback from the British prime minister, Tusk said he only said her Chequers plan would not work because of her "surprisingly tough and uncompromising" stance.

But May had her own political calculation to make, with one eye on next week's Conservative conference where she will attempt to see off threats from hardline Brexiteers in her own party who have openly discussed the prospect of challenging her leadership. "We can't solve the problems that are arising on the island (Britain) due to Brexit", he said on Twitter.

"The British people made a decision to leave in a (2016) referendum, we respect that".

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable said the Chequers plan was "dead as a dodo, killed in London by Tory fundamentalists", while Green MP Caroline Lucas said the current deadlock was "predictable" and Mrs May's response "pathetic, painful and petulant".

"Likewise her determination not to erect barriers between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic is sensible and something many have previously suggested".

"It would be bumpy, it would be hard, but we would find a way to survive and prosper as a country", he said.

He told the Mirror: "What comes out of conference I will adhere to".

The big advantage for Britain if it became a member of the EEA would be that its financial hub in London remains undisturbed.

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