Theresa May at a photocall with European leaders in Salzburg yesterday. President Macron of France told her to come up with a new plan if she wanted a Brexit deal. LISI NIESNER/REUTERS
Oliver Wright, Policy Editor | Sam Coates | Bruno Waterfield, Salzburg
September 21 2018
Theresa May is battling to salvage her Brexit strategy and facing a fresh Tory revolt after being humiliated by European leaders yesterday.
In an ambush that blindsided British officials, Donald Tusk, the European Council president, dismissed her Chequers proposals as unworkable after a private meeting of national leaders.
President Macron of France warned the prime minister that she must come up with “new propositions” if she wanted to rescue a deal.
The rejection at the Salzburg meeting triggered a crisis in government, with some cabinet ministers considering attempting to bounce Mrs May into abandoning Chequers within days.
Sajid Javid, the home secretary, Andrea Leadsom, leader of the House, Penny Mordaunt, international development secretary, and Esther McVey, the work and pensions secretary, are among those who believe a deal closer to that which Canada has with the EU would be preferable to the current government proposal.
“She needs to drop the language of Chequers,” a cabinet minister said.
A pro-European Conservative MP said that the prime minister’s domestic “credibility” had been badly damaged. “The question is, how on earth does she survive this? It strengthens the hand of the Brexiteers and calls into question her leadership in a way that wasn’t the case 48 hours ago.”