By JASON GROVES, POLITICAL EDITOR FOR THE DAILY MAIL
PUBLISHED: 22:30 BST, 19 September 2018 | UPDATED: 03:57 BST, 20 September 2018
- The Prime Minister spoke to the 27 EU leaders at a meeting in Salzburg last night
- She only got 10 minutes to speak and did not discuss Brexit with counterparts
- EU council president Donald Tusk said Mrs May must ‘rework’ Chequers plan
- Chief negotiator Michel Barnier has said he will ‘improve’ EU’s border proposal
- But Brussels is still demanding checks between Northern Ireland and rest of UK
Theresa May last night warned EU leaders that Britain is ready to walk away without a deal unless they reach a ‘workable’ agreement on Brexit in the next two months.
In a blunt ultimatum, the Prime Minister ruled out any delay to Britain’s departure from the EU in March – and said there were no circumstances in which she would consider a second referendum.
Mrs May also rejected the EU’s latest proposals for resolving the Northern Ireland border issue, warning leaders that they would break up the UK.
In recent weeks, senior figures in Brussels have floated the idea of extending the Article 50 process for up to a year to allow the talks to drift on. With Labour and several Tory MPs wobbling on the issue, some harbour hopes that ministers could even agree to hold a second referendum.
Treasury minister Mel Stride went off message yesterday when he warned Eurosceptics that they could ‘end up in the situation where we could have a second referendum’ if they vote down the Chequers deal in Parliament.
But speaking directly to EU leaders at a special summit in Salzburg last night, Mrs May said delaying Brexit was ‘not an option’.
Over a dinner of wiener schnitzel and Austrian wines, she said: ‘We all recognise that time is short, but delaying or extending these negotiations is not an option. I know for many of you, Brexit is not something you want, but it is important to be clear – there will be no second referendum in the UK.
‘The public has delivered its verdict and I as Prime Minister will deliver on that. The UK will leave on March 29 next year. I have put forward serious and workable proposals.
‘We will not, of course, agree on every detail, but the onus is now on all of us to get this deal done.’