Theresa May’s request for new concessions from Brussels was firmly rejected by EU leaders on Thursday, putting her on a collision course with MPs in Westminster.
The prime minister asked EU leaders in Brussels to “hold nothing in reserve” and make legal changes to the Withdrawal Agreement, specifically on the backstop for the Irish border, which would make it more palatable for UK MPs.
However, rather than win changes to the deal, May’s requests led the EU to harden its position.
“We don’t want the U. to think there can be any form of renegotiation, that is crystal clear,” European Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker, said at the end of the first day of the European Council summit.
“We can add clarifications, but no real changes. There will be no legally binding obligations imposed on the Withdrawal Treaty.”
He then publicly chastised May’s approach to negotiations, after reports that German Chancellor Angela Merkel interrupted the meeting of EU leaders to ask May to be clearer about what she wanted from them.
“Our UK friends need to say what they want, instead of asking us to say what we want,” Juncker said.