No, really. You can’t renegotiate May’s Brexit deal, EU leaders tell Tory hopefuls
PUBLISHED: 17:44 11 June 2019
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Theresa May’s Brexit deal can’t be renegotiated, is the message from EU leaders as Tory hopefuls make their promises in the leadership race.
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EU leaders and ministers of state have poured cold water on Conservatives who have been wooing voters with claims that they can somehow negotiate a better exit deal in Brussels.
The only exception is Rory Stewart, who has said that these claims are misleading.
Jeremy Hunt has claimed that in a conversation with Angela Merkel, she was open to a renegotiation.
READ: Merkel said EU ready to negotiate Brexit deal with new PM, Hunt claims
Yet according to AFP, the German chancellor's office rebutted the claim, saying the exit agreement "will not be changed".
The Withdrawal Agreement is "is not a treaty between Theresa May and Juncker, it is a treaty between the UK and the EU," said Juncker at a Politico event.
"There will be no renegotiations," he added.
Michel Barnier, the EU's chief negotiator, agreed, saying May's deal was "the only one possible", according to the Telegraph.
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France's state secretary for European affairs Amélie de Montchalin, during a visit to London, took the same line.
"If Britain does want to leave, and if it wants to leave in an orderly fashion, then this is the way it must do it," she told the Guardian.
The only condition that France would agree to a deadline extension beyond October 31, she said, would be if there were a "profound change" in Britain's current political line.
READ: Tory leadership contest: What happens next?
She added that the £39 billion in continued UK commitments to the EU was a matter of international law, in contrast to Boris Johnson, who has suggested that the UK could withhold the cash in exchange for a better deal.
In Berlin, Europe minister Michael Roth said that the EU cannot be "blackmailed", and that there was "no willingness to restart negotiations from the beginning".
"The candidates would do well to bear that in mind in the course of their internal party campaigns," he told Reuters.
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