The President of the EU has said that Brexit has nothing to do with the failings of Brussels – as he warned there is no alternative to Theresa Mays deal.
Jean-Claude Juncker blamed the vote to leave the bloc on British politicians moaning about the EU over many years.
It comes after Mrs May got her divorce deal signed off by the EU at a milestone summit in Brussels at the weekend, but now faces the mammoth task of getting it passed by MPs.
It is a very significant political achievement. It places us in a position of strength, Mr Sánchez said. The idea of the government of Spain is to solve once and for all…
She is gathering her Cabinet for crisis talks in No10 today as she kicks off a fortnight-long PR blitz as she desperately tries to peel off opponents.
Speaking on the BBC Radio 4 Today Programme, he was quizzed about his previous comments that Brexit process felt like a failure.
Pressed on whether it was a failure by the EU, he said: Is it a failure on the British behalf that you are telling people year after year, month after month, day after day, that the membership of Britain in the European Union is a bad thing for the British citizens?
I dont think that the European Union is guilty for the result, its the responsibility of Britain. Only of Britain, of nobody else.
The Prime Minister was given a furious grilling by MPs for over two and a half hours in the Commons as she made her latest desperate bid to win over critics after sealing the package at an EU summit over the weekend.
Jean-Claude Juncker (pictured with Theresa May at the EU summit in Brussels on Saturday) blamed the vote to leave the bloc on British politicians moaning about the EU over many years
Despite looking on track for a catastrophic defeat in a crunch vote in Parliament next month, Mrs May told MPs they had a duty to listen to constituents and do what is in the national interest.
The Brexit vote came after many years of rising concerns that EU rules allowing free movement of people had led to uncontrolled and high levels of immigration.
Brussels dismisses silly Spanish PM over Gibraltar Brexit row
While many Britons were alarmed that EU judges sitting in Luxembourg could tell the UK Government and public how to act.
Theresa May was mauled by MPs from all sides today as she pleaded with them to back her Brexit deal and not to send Britain back to square one in the crunch negotiations.
Mr Juncker also said there is no alternative to the PMs deal – warning that if MPs vote it down then Britain will crash out of the bloc.
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Mrs May is facing massive opposition to her deal, with 91 Tory MPs so far saying they will not vote it, while Labour, the SNP and DUP have all vowed to block it.
Mr Juncker said: This is the only deal possible. So, if the House (of Commons) says no, we would have no deal.
Spain, France and others fully intend to maintain their current access to our fisheries and will be quite prepared to threaten a veto on the real deal if we do not concede what they want. And they have leverage. Spanish politicians will beat their chests about Gibraltar, making intemperate statements to heighten passions but privately say they will back down in return for fisheries access. The French are already laying the legal groundwork to undermine the value of equivalence in financial services so that they can build the capital market in Paris, giving them a very strong bargaining counter from which to maintain their access to our waters. If we concede on fisheries then they will concede on equivalence.
What will the cabinet do if Mays Brexit deal fails?
He added: Its not the intention of the Prime Minister, the Cabinet, nor of the Parliament, to go for a second referendum. This is the deal.
US presidents intervention is likely to weaken Mays hand when she is seeking to get deal approved by parliament
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Trump was speaking to reporters outside the White House when he was asked about the deal May struck with the EUs other 27 heads of state and government on Sunday.
Read more Sounds like a great deal for the EU, the president said. I think we have to take a look at, seriously, whether or not the UK is allowed to trade. Because, you know, right now, if you look at the deal, they may not be able to trade with us … I dont think that the prime minister meant that. And, hopefully, shell be able to do something about that.
Trumps intervention caught Downing Street off-guard and is likely to weaken Mays hand at a time when she is seeking to get the deal approved by parliament, where she faces determined resistance from 89 Tory backbenchers who argue the deal does not secure sufficient freedom of action for the UK. A vote is due on 11 December after a five-day debate.
A No 10 spokesman argued that Trumps take on Brexit was wrong: The political declaration we have agreed with the EU is very clear we will have an independent trade policy so that the UK can sign trade deals with countries around the world – including with the US.
Brussels dismissed the completely silly Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez (pictured yesterday in Brussels) in the aftermath of the Brexit deal after he threatened to derail the negotiations over Gibraltar
The spokesman pointed out that the US trade representative had already begun a consultation on a future trade deal with the UK, again suggesting Trumps analysis was incorrect. We have already been laying the groundwork for an ambitious agreement with the US through our joint working groups, which have met five times so far, he said.
EU FURIOUS at Spains OUTRAGEOUS demands on Gibraltar No scrap of justification!
It was unclear what Trump meant by the UK being unable to trade with the US, although some suggested he was referring to the fact that the UK would not be able to strike trade deals with the US after the Brexit deal is concluded because of its terms.
She told MPs today the UK Government had ensured that Gibraltar was covered by the Withdrawal Agreement and would negotiate a future relationship for the whole UK family, including Gibraltar.
Under the deal the UK will not be able to pursue an independent trade policy during the 21-month transition period after Brexit, during which it will be in effect an EU member state without any representation in the blocs decision-making institutions.
In the highly likely scenario that a EU-UK trade deal is not close to ratification by July 2020, the EU and UK will jointly decide at this so-called rendezvous point, whether to extend the transition period for up to two years, again precluding such a deal with Washington.
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Brussels and Downing Street could alternatively allow the backstop solution for avoiding a hard border on the island of Ireland to come into force in January 2021.
Such a scenario would see the whole of the UK staying in a customs union with Brussels under which it would not be able to pursue any trade deal covering goods – although the UK would be free to seek agreements in the services sector.
May gathers Cabinet as she plots two-week blitz to sell her EU deal
Last year, the US was the second largest market for EU exports of goods after China while British exports are worth around £100bn a year, more than twice as much as to any other country.
May has repeatedly insisted that the UK would be able to negotiate and conclude trade deals with countries around the world after Brexit, and she and other ministers had made no secret of the fact they hoped in particular to reach an agreement with the US – the worlds largest economy.
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Read more Trump has, however, been seeking a trade deal with the EU, and has been threatening tariffs on the European car industry in order to attain such a prize. The UK would likely be covered by such an EU-US deal. Brussels has a policy of pushing its new trade deal partners to allow countries such as Turkey, with whom the bloc is in a customs union, to enjoy similar beneficial terms to its member states.
Trump has had an uneasy relationship with May, and made no secret of his support for Nigel Farage and the British hard right. He feted Farage on the campaign trail and cast himself in the same radical outsider role, tweeting in August 2016: They will soon be calling me MR BREXIT!
Theresa May: Vote for my Brexit deal or its back to square one
After Downing Street criticised the president for retweeting three videos posted by a UK far-right group in November 2017, Trump retorted: @Theresa_May, dont focus on me, focus on the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom. We are doing just fine!