Germany urges Brussels to make Brexit Compromise

EUROPEAN Union negotiators must be "sensible" and ready to compromise as the final stage of talks looms, a leading German newspaper has warned.
Alexander Mühlauer, Brussels correspondent for Süddeutsche Zeitung, said Theresa May is a strong leader who has freed herself from ‘Brexit zealots’ in her party.

He warned Brussels must act quickly with the Prime Minister driven by party politics.

In an editorial, Mr Mühlauer wrote: “Brexit has nothing to do with reason, yet it needs a sensible solution now. And quick.

He warned “the situation will not get any better” and urged EU negotiators to compromise.

Mr Mühlauer said: “With Theresa May, the Union has a negotiating partner who is still driven by what is happening inside her party, but she still has the strength and the will to find a solution.

“This opportunity should be used to agree on a withdrawal agreement as soon as possible.

“Anything else would be irresponsible but would be in the sense of those Brexit zealots from which May has at least freed herself in the government.”

The editorial comes after Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, said he was “strongly opposed” to the UK Government’s Chequers plan for leaving the EU.

In his most vocal criticism of Britain’s negotiating stance, Mr Barnier said the British were trying to ‘cherry pick’ from EU regulations.

He said: “If we let the British pick the cherries out of our rules, that would have serious consequences.

“That would be the end of the single market and the European project.”

The uncertainty created by Mr Barnier’s comments sent pound sterling plummeting 0.3 percent in early morning trading to $1.2928 against the US dollar.

Theresa May is facing attacks from within her own party at home, as former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson used his Daily Telegraph column today to attack the Chequers deal, saying it would give the UK “diddly squat” post-Brexit.

He wrote: “It is now clear that some in the UK Government never wanted solutions.

“They have been rumbled. People can see Chequers means disaster.”

Downing Street gave a rare public rebuttal to Mr Johnson’s article.

A spokesman for the Prime Minister said: “There’s no new ideas in this article to respond to.

“What we need at this time is serious leadership with a serious plan. That’s exactly what the country has with this prime minister and this Brexit plan.”

Tory MP Justine Greening told BBC World At One today that Chequers is “dead”.

Ms Greening said: "Chequers is now dead and there's no point having a government spending two vital months working on that when what it needs to do is start working on an alternative route for us.”

Influential pro-Brexit groups Change Britain and the European Research Group also oppose the Chequers plan.

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