Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

PM Leading Country to 'Disastrous Hard Brexit'

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

PM Leading Country to 'Disastrous Hard Brexit'

Article excerpt

Byline: Gavin Cordon Reporter

MP Ian Murray. He argued that politics in Britain has "skewed to the right" under the Conservatives, leaving so-called Middle Britain - whose votes Mr Blair captured - unrepresented.

But with Brexit looming, Mr Darling said there was a need for "sensible" politicians making the case for the UK to continue to have a relationship with the European Union after it leaves.

Asked if he endorsed Labour's left wing leader, Jeremy Corbyn, Mr Darling said: "He is the leader, he is the leader right up to the General Election."

THERESA May is under fire over her Brexit negotiating strategy following reports European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker walked out of talks saying he was "10 times more sceptical than before".

Opposition parties warned the UK was heading for a "disastrous hard Brexit" after a detailed account of their meeting last week in Downing Street suggested Mr Juncker left fearing the talks would end in failure. Downing Street said it did not recognise the latest report which appeared in the German Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung newspaper. However, the reported disclosures - attributed to commission sources - threatened to sour the mood between London and Brussels before negotiations have even begun.

The EU side - which included chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier - was said to have concluded that Mrs May was way too optimistic about the prospects for a deal. When the Prime Minister told them "let us make Brexit a success", Mr Juncker was said to have replied "Brexit cannot be a success".

At one state - to underline the complexity of negotiations - the commission president was said to have brandished copies of Croatia's EU entry deal and Canada's free trade deal, which runs to 2,000 pages.

Mrs May was also said to have angered the EU side when she warned that the UK could not be forced to pay a "divorce bill" for leaving because there was no requirement under the treaties, which drew the response that the EU was "not a golf club". …

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