Theresa May is battling to salvage her Brexit strategy and facing a fresh Tory revolt after being humiliated by European leaders yesterday, The Times writes.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, global 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.
If the language coming out of European Union leaders was anything to go by, the prospect the United Kingdom crashing out without a deal seems greater than ever.
May promised new proposals to reassure Dublin that it would not get a "hard border" with the British province of Northern Ireland but warned she too could live with a no-deal outcome - though many round the summit table in picturesque Salzburg see that as more of a negotiating tactic than a credible threat.
The Prime Minister said during a press conference after the Salzburg meeting that she would not accept the EU's "backstop" plan to avoid a Northern Ireland hard border.
May wants to keep the United Kingdom inside the bloc's single market for goods, but not services.
But leaders also tried to put a positive spin on their 24 hours of talks.
Theresa May is to issue a fresh call to European Union leaders for compromise in the Brexit talks as Brussels' chief negotiator said he was ready to come forward with a new offer on the Irish border.
- German Chancellor Angela Merkel said "substantial progress" is needed over the next four weeks.
European Union leaders understand that she can give little away before the conference ends on Oct 3.
"Hopefully by then we will reach an agreement with Great Britain".
"Ritual dance is always a part of such negotiations", a senior adviser to one of May's summit peers told Reuters.
Whether it can be done by mid-November, many doubt.
Any later, and there would be a risk of failing to get it ratified by both parliaments before Brexit Day on March 29.
But while he had some encouragement for the "positive evolution" of Britain's approach, he warned the two sides were still stuck on two key areas - the Irish border and the future economic relationship.
Specifically, he said that he would "clarify" which goods will have to be checked by customs officers as they are transported between mainland Britain and Northern Ireland.
Speaking to the media in Salzburg on Thursday, French President Emmanuel Macron said the staunch Brexit backers had deceived the British people, promising them a windfall of funds and a painless exit.
"But we all agreed on this today, the proposals in their current state are not acceptable".
The rejection of her plan unleashed Tory Brexiteers' demands to chuck the Chequers and take a harder stance against the EU.
Those guidelines include the need for a "backstop" in a British withdrawal deal to ensure customs and regulatory compliance between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic, where no one wants to restore a physical border.
If May had hoped that the two-day Salzburg meeting would make her political life a little easier - her Conservative Party holds a conference at the end of September - it now appears it will have the reverse effect, and prompt more domestic criticism of her leadership.
Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar told reporters time is running short.