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European Union not trying to keep Britain in, says Juncker

Jean-Claude Juncker has called on the UK to ‘get your act together’ over Brexit, branding some Britons ‘entirely unreasonable’ for expecting Brussels to put forward a solution.

The European Commission president also rejected claims of a plot to keep the UK in the EU ‘by all possible means’ and revealed he fears the majority of MPs ‘deeply distrust’ both the EU and Theresa May.

The top Eurocrat’s comments to German newspaper Welt am Sonntag were published as Cabinet Brexiteer Liam Fox said the chances of Britain leaving the European Union will be little more than ’50-50′ if the Prime Minister’s deal is rejected by Parliament.

The International Trade Secretary warned fellow MPs that failure to pass Mrs May’s deal would be ‘incendiary’ and said it was ‘a matter of honour’ for them to support the PM.

Jean-Claude Juncker (pictured with Theresa May) has called on the UK to ‘get your act together’ over Brexit

It comes amid reports that senior MPs from both Conservative and Labour are plotting to delay Brexit by months in a bid to avoid a no-deal Brexit.

Cross-party plans are underway to push the March 28 date back as far as July following secret talks over the past several weeks, the Observer claims. 

MPs are due to vote on the Withdrawal Agreement in the week of January 7 after Mrs May, facing the prospect of a significant defeat, pulled the original date of December 11.

However the bid to buy more time to secure key concessions on the Irish backstop, the key flashpoint for DUP and Brexiteer detractors of the deal, appeared to falter when her fellow leaders refused to change the legal text of the agreement.

The PM said talks would continue, although the EU has repeatedly warned negotiations over the withdrawal agreement will not be reopened.

Should MPs reject it when they vote in the coming weeks it could raise the prospect of no-deal and with it the risk of heavy economic consequences for the UK and EU, or a second referendum on Brexit.

Mr Juncker said: ‘It is not us who are leaving the United Kingdom – it is the United Kingdom that is leaving the European Union.

‘I find it entirely unreasonable for parts of the British public to believe that it is for the EU alone to propose a solution for all future British problems.

International Trade Secretary Liam Fox said Government cannot renege on Brexit (Victoria Jones/PA)

International Trade Secretary Liam Fox said Government cannot renege on Brexit (Victoria Jones/PA)

‘My appeal is this: get your act together and then tell us what it is you want. Our proposed solutions have been on the table for months.’

Mr Juncker said it was up to the British to decide if the final decision is put back to the people in a second referendum or so-called People’s Vote.

However he said he was ‘working on the assumption that (the UK) will leave, because that is what the people of the United Kingdom have decided’.

‘I have the impression that the majority of British MPs deeply distrust both the EU and Mrs May,’ Mr Juncker added.

‘It is being insinuated that our aim is to keep the United Kingdom in the EU by all possible means. That is not our intention.’

Dr Fox told the Sunday Times that Brexit will only be ‘100% certain’ if the House of Commons backs the Prime Minister’s deal in a crunch vote next month.

The International Trade Secretary warned fellow MPs that failure to pass Mrs May’s deal would be ‘incendiary’ and said it was ‘a matter of honour’ for them to support the PM.

A defeat for Theresa May (pictured at church on Christmas Day) could lead to a no-deal Brexit, a confidence vote in the House of Commons or a possible general election

A defeat for Theresa May (pictured at church on Christmas Day) could lead to a no-deal Brexit, a confidence vote in the House of Commons or a possible general election

Having given the public the right to decide on EU membership in a referendum, ‘Parliament cannot now, with any honour, renege on that result’, said Dr Fox.

‘Were they to do so, I think you would shatter the bond of trust between the electorate and Parliament. And I think that would put us into unprecedented territory with unknowable consequences.’

Campaigners for a second EU referendum seized on the International Trade Secretary’s comments, saying that polls suggested that fewer than 50% of Britons now want to leave the EU.

Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran, a leading supporter of the Best for Britain campaign for a referendum, said: ‘Brexit not happening isn’t 50-50 as Liam Fox says. It’s actually 56-44.’

Defeat for May could stop Brexit: Britain’s departure from the EU will be ’50-50′ if MPs vote down PM’s deal with Brussels, warns Liam Fox 

The chances of Brexit will be no more than 50-50 if MPs vote down Theresa May’s withdrawal deal, pro-Leave minister Liam Fox has said. 

The Commons will vote on the deal in the week beginning on January 14 after Mrs May, expecting to lose, delayed the ‘meaningful vote’ earlier this month. 

A defeat for Mrs May could lead to a no-deal Brexit, a confidence vote in the Commons or a possible general election.  

The International Trade Secretary told The Sunday Times it was a ‘matter of honour’ for MPs to back the PM’s deal.  

The chances of Brexit will be no more than 50-50 if MPs vote down Theresa May’s withdrawal deal, pro-Leave minister Liam Fox (pictured in Downing Street earlier this month) has said

Dr Fox, who backed Leave in 2016, warned fellow MPs that failure to pass Mrs May’s deal would be ‘incendiary.

Having given the public the right to decide on EU membership in a referendum, ‘Parliament cannot now, with any honour, renege on that result’, the Cabinet minister said.

‘Were they to do so, I think you would shatter the bond of trust between the electorate and Parliament. And I think that would put us into unprecedented territory with unknowable consequences.’

He said he ‘would not give it much more than 50-50’ for Britain to leave the EU if the deal is voted down. 

Jeremy Corbyn has said Labour will oppose the deal, calling it a 'miserable failure of negotiation' and the 'worst of all worlds'

Jeremy Corbyn has said Labour will oppose the deal, calling it a ‘miserable failure of negotiation’ and the ‘worst of all worlds’

Mrs May’s 585-page withdrawal deal sparked fury on the Tory backbenches when it was unveiled last month. 

Conservative rebels were fiercely critical of the Irish backstop, voicing fears it would leave Britain tied to EU trading rules indefinitely. 

They failed to oust Mrs May in a confidence vote earlier this month, meaning she cannot face another challenge from her party for a year. 

However her government could still be toppled by a confidence vote in the House of Commons, although Jeremy Corbyn has so far declined to call one. 

Mr Corbyn has said Labour will oppose the deal, calling it a ‘miserable failure of negotiation’ and the ‘worst of all worlds’.  

Campaigners for a second EU referendum seized on Dr Fox’s comments, pointing to polls suggesting that fewer than 50 per cent of Britons now want to leave the EU.

Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran, a leading supporter of the Best for Britain campaign for a referendum, said: ‘Brexit not happening isn’t 50-50 as Liam Fox says. It’s actually 56-44.

‘That’s the way the public now feels about us stopping this badly-led disaster and strengthening ourselves within the EU.

‘The only thing that is shattering the bond of trust between electorate and Parliament is the refusal of ministers like Liam Fox to trust people with the final say on Brexit.’ 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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