Evening Standard European Union chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier kisses Theresa May's hand as she arrives in Strasbourg

Prime Minister Theresa May’s statement on her Brexit deal changes

Theresa May and Jean-Claude Juncker
Theresa May and Jean-Claude Juncker

British Prime Minister Theresa May said negotiations had been ‘hard-fought’

Theresa May’s statement from Strasbourg as she talked up a string of “legally binding” changes to her Brexit deal and said the Government had delivered on the demands of MPs – Crimson Tazvinzwa, AIWA! NO!

Last November, after two years of hard-fought negotiations, I agreed a Brexit deal with the EU that I passionately believe delivers on the decision taken by the British people to leave the European Union.

Over the last four months, I have made the case for that deal in Westminster and across the UK.

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I stand by what that deal achieves for my country.

It means we regain control of our laws, by ending the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice in the UK.

Regain control of our borders, by ending free movement.

Regain control of our money, by ending vast annual payments to the EU.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has warned MPs they will get “no third chance” to make Brexit happen after Theresa May agreed on a batch of last-minute changes to her EU deal.

The end of the Common Agricultural Policy and the Common Fisheries Policy for British farmers and fishermen.

An independent trade policy.

And the deal sets us on course for a good future relationship with our friends and allies in the EU.

A close economic partnership that is good for business.

Ongoing security co-operation to keep our peoples safe.

The deal honours the referendum result and is good for both the UK and the EU.

But there was a clear concern in Parliament over one issue in particular: the Northern Ireland backstop.

Having an insurance policy to guarantee that there will never be a hard border in Northern Ireland is absolutely right – it honours the UK’s solemn commitments in the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement.

But if we ever have to use that insurance policy, it cannot become a permanent arrangement and it is not the template for our future relationship.

The deal that MPs voted on in January was not strong enough in making that clear – and legally binding changes were needed to set that right.

Today we have agreed them.

First, a joint instrument with comparable legal weight to the Withdrawal Agreement will guarantee that the EU cannot act with the intent of applying the backstop indefinitely.

If they do, it can be challenged through arbitration and if they are found to be in breach the UK can suspend the backstop.

The joint instrument also gives a legal commitment that whatever replaces the backstop does not need to replicate it.

And it entrenches in legally-binding form the commitments made in the exchange of letters with Presidents Tusk and Juncker in January.

Second, the UK and the EU have made a joint statement in relation to the Political Declaration.

It sets out a number of commitments to enhance and expedite the process of negotiating and bringing into force the future relationship.

And it makes a legal commitment that the UK and the EU will begin work immediately to replace the backstop with alternative arrangements by the end of December 2020.

There will be a specific negotiating track on alternative arrangements from the very start of the next phase of negotiations.

It will consider facilitations and technologies – both those currently ready and emerging.

The UK’s position will be informed by the three domestic groups announced last week – for technical experts, MPs, and business and trade unions.

Third, alongside the joint instrument on the Withdrawal Agreement, the United Kingdom Government will make a Unilateral Declaration that if the backstop comes into use and discussions on our future relationship break down so that there is no prospect of subsequent agreement, it is the position of the United Kingdom that there would be nothing to prevent the UK instigating measures that would ultimately dis-apply the backstop.

Unilateral Declarations are commonly used by states alongside the ratification of treaties.

The Attorney General will set out in legal analysis the meaning of the joint instrument and unilateral declaration to Parliament.

Tomorrow the House of Commons will debate the improved deal that these legal changes have created.

I will speak in more detail about them when I open that debate.

MPs were clear that legal changes were needed to the backstop.

Today we have secured legal changes.

Now is the time to come together, to back this improved Brexit deal, and to deliver on the instruction of the British people.

The former leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP) announced in an op-ed for The Telegraph that if Britain's exit from the EU was delayed, he would stand as candidate for the party in the European Parliament elections. "I have made it clear many times that I will not stand by and do nothing, so should this (European Parliament) election need to be contested, I will stand as a candidate for the Brexit Party and I will give it my all," he said, adding: "In defense of democracy, we stand ready for battle."

EU Six top Brussels bureaucrats standing in the way of Brexit?

Six EU leaders: Pro-EU Labour party stalwart and MP Harriet Harman failed to recognise the EU’s most powerful officials in an embarrassing TV moment during the referendum campaign/

Pro-EU Labour party stalwart and MP Harriet Harman failed to recognise the EU’s most powerful officials in an embarrassing TV moment during the referendum campaign/ 

BRITAIN’s relationship with the EU is a complicated one especially now we are leaving, but who are the top Brussels bureaucrats? – ALICE FOSTER, EXPRESS

Image result for Jean-Claude Juncker

President of the European Commission

Who is Jean-Claude Juncker?

The President of the European Commission, the EU’s executive branch, has refused to resign in the wake of the Brexit vote and chaos in Europe. 

Mr Juncker served as prime minister of Luxembourg for nearly 20 years and took charge of the European Commission in 2014, despite UK opposition.

He failed to keep Britain in the EU and was one of the key players in working out a controversial deal for Britain earlier this year. 

Mr Juncker’s red lines in talks were the integrity of the single market and free movement, plus the possibility of bringing more of Europe into the Eurozone.

Concerns over the free movement of people and immigration defined the EU referendum campaign. 

Donald Tusk
Donald Tusk is President of the European Council [EPA]

2. Who is Donald Tusk? 

The President of the European Council – a summit of leaders of EU member states – helped to strike a draft deal aimed at keeping the UK in the EU in February 2016. 

The former Polish prime minister, a pragmatic centralist, played a key role in the “challenging negotiations” which finally secured approval for the deal at an EU summit. 

He served as the prime minister of Poland from 2007 to 2014 before taking on his current role as President of the European Council in late 2014. 

But before the EU referendum, Mr Tusk warned that the long-term consequences of Brexit were “dangerous” and “completely unpredictable”.

Frans Timmermans
Frans Timmermans is First Vice President of the European Commission [AFP/Getty]

3. Who is Frans Timmermans?

The First Vice President of the European Commission has been engaged in negotiations with British government officials for a long time.  

The former Dutch foreign minister actually supports the UK’s drive for greater competitiveness and has pledged to cut the EU’s red tape.

The commissioner has launched a ‘better regulation’ agenda, which aims to improve the EU law-making process. 

Mr Timmermans became Mr Juncker’s right-hand man in the European Commission in 2014 after having served in both the Dutch Parliament and civil service.

His portfolio includes better regulation, inter-institutional relations, the rule of law and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. 

Martin Schulz
Martin Schulz is President of the European Parliament [EPA]

4. Who is Martin Schulz

The President of the European Parliament is an outspoken politician and a fierce critic of Cameron’s efforts to renegotiate Britain’s membership of the EU. 

The veteran German politician argued that the UK’s demands tested the patience of the EU and said Britain should be allowed to quit if it wants to. 

Mr Schulz said he was not shocked by the Brexit victory, but has urged the UK to leave the bloc as soon as possible in order to end uncertainty. 

The MEP was first elected as European Parliament President in 2012 after serving as leader of the group of Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats.

He is one of the leading federalists in the EU and has been an MEP since 1994.

Mario Draghi
Mario Draghi is President of the European Central Bank [EPA]

5. Who is Mario Draghihttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mario_Draghi?

The President of the European Central Bank has been responsible for dealing with the fallout from the Eurozone’s debt crisis.   

Mr Draghi, who took on the role in 2011, previously worked at Goldman Sachs and the World Bank, as well as serving as governor of the Bank of Italy. 

The Italian economist and banker was ranked eighth on a list of the world’s most powerful people published by Forbes in 2014. 

During his time as general director of the Italian Treasury from 1991 to 2001, Mr Draghi played a role in reducing Italy’s public debt. 

He has earned the nickname “Super Mario”.

Federica Mogherini 
Federica Mogherini is the EU’s foreign affairs chief [EPA]

6. Who is Federica Mogherini?

The EU’s foreign affairs chief, known as the High Representative, works on issues such as the migration crisis, Iran’s nuclear policy and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. 

The former Italian foreign minister is a centre-left politician and also serves as Vice President of the European Commission under Mr Juncker. 

Ms Mogherini spoke about the need to bring peace to war-torn Syria during the Syrian donor conference in London in February 2016. 

The politician, born in Rome, was elected as a member of the Italian Parliament in 2008 and served as Italian minister of foreign affairs in 2014. 

BREXIT: A ‘Predictable MESS!’ Harvard professor uses CHEESE SUBMARINE analogy to describe Brexit

Times Journalist Hugo Rifkind came up with a particularly unusual analogy for where Theresa May and Brexit are right now and it went viral because it was funny and totally accurate at the same time.

As the Brexit psychodrama unfolds the political chaos gets steadily worse. All the signs are Theresa May’s got virtually nowhere in her attempts to find common ground with other parties. But, as our political correspondent Peter Spencer reports, she’s got no choice but to face her enemies on all sides of the chamber on Monday…

As the Brexit psychodrama unfolds the political chaos gets steadily worse. All the signs are Theresa May’s got virtually nowhere in her attempts to find common ground with other parties. But, as our political correspondent Peter Spencer reports, she’s got no choice but to face her enemies on all sides of the chamber on Monday…

BREXIT has been a “predictable mess” over the last two years, according to Harvard Professor Yascha Mounk, who used a “submarine made out of cheese” analogy to help describe the process.


|AIWA!|Brexit can be described using a “submarine out of cheese” analogy, believes Harvard Professor Yascha Mounk. The lecturer on Government at Harvard University also commented on how the British media and political class have “closed their eyes” to the “predictable mess” that’s occurred over the last two years. Mr Mounk told France 24: “It’s a strange thing in politics where it can seem for a long time fundamental laws of logic don’t apply. So for years you can go on as if it didn’t apply and people start to believe that the laws of logic don’t apply, and then suddenly they all come home to roost.


“Somebody put it best a couple of days ago, that the basic nature of Brexit is to have promised people a submarine made out of cheese.

“Theresa May has done her very best to create that submarine made out of cheese, but eventually you put the submarine into the water and you see that it doesn’t work.

READ RELATED: UK’s secret Brexit weapon: French cheese

“So the Brexiteers have told Brits that they’re going to get a huge economic boost, that they’re going to get all of their sovereignty back, and at the same time they’re going to be able to trade in exactly the same terms as before.”

The lecturer added: “They are having a hard border to immigrants yet there’s no friction at the Irish border.

brexit news latest deal vote submarine cheese uk

Brexit news: the Harvard professor said Brexit has been a “predictable mess” over the last two years (Image: Getty/France 24)

brexit news latest deal vote eu summit theresa may

Columnist Hugo Rifkind originally posted about the “submarine made out of cheese” analogy on Twitter (Image: Twitter/Hugo Rifkind)

It’s a mess that was predictable for the past two years

Yascha Mounk

“All of these things are mutually incompatible, now that people have to vote on the deal that doesn’t respect all of those things, because it’s impossible to do all of them at the same time, there’s no majority for it.

“So it’s a mess that was predictable for the past two years, and what’s amazing is that large parts of the British media and political class have closed their eyes to that evident fact for so long.”

The “submarine made out of cheese” analogy was first used by Columnist Hugo Rifkind in a series of tweets.

“The thing is, the best way to understand Theresa May’s predicament is to imagine that 52 percent of Britain had voted that the government should build a submarine out of cheese;” Hugo Rifkind

“Now, Theresa May  was initially against building a submarine out of cheese, obviously. Because it’s a completely insane thing to do. However, in order to become PM, she had to pretend that she thought building a submarine out of cheese was fine and could totally work.

“’Cheese means cheese,’ she told us all, madly.

“So now, having built a s*** cheese submarine, she has to put up with both Labour and Tory Brexiters insisting that a less sh*** cheese submarine could have been built.

“So that’s where we are.”

During the EU summit that took place in Brussels today, Mrs May confronted Jean-Claude Juncker as the pair met in the European Council chamber, following the President of the European Commission’s remarks on Brexit.

On Thursday evening the President of the European Commission insisted Brexit Britain needed to make clear “what they want, instead of asking us to say what we want”. In the footage, the Prime Minister appears to have a stern discussion with Mr Juncker before the EU meeting in Brussels.

An expert lipreader has revealed what Mrs May said when she confronted the President of the European Commission after he allegedly described her as nebulous.

The lipreader claimed Mr Juncker was insisting that he did not describe the Prime Minister as “nebulous”.


BRITISH PRIME MINISTER Theresa May ‘Very good progress’ on Brexit at Brussels summit

Prime Minister says deal can be achieved ‘by working closely’, before making case to EU leaders

Theresa May arriving for the European Council summit in Brussels.
Photograph: Stephanie Lecocq/EPA

READ RELATED: May faces EU leaders as Brexit talks stall|CRIMSON TAZVINZWA, AIWA NO!|Theresa May has said she thinks a Brexit deal is achievable with hard work from both sides.

The Prime Minister was in an optimistic mood as she walked into the European Council building, in Brussels, for crunch talks. The Prime Minister hopes to strike a deal with the European Union in the coming days and weeks but admitted it would not be easy.

‘What we’ve seen is that we’ve solved most of the issues in the withdrawal agreement,’ she said. ‘There is still the question of the Northern Irish backstop … by working intensively and closely, we can achieve that deal. ‘Now is the time to make it happen.’ The EU has demanded a ‘backstop’ to ensure there are no customs posts or other controls along the currently invisible border between the UK’s Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland.

READ RELATED: Brexit: Theresa May ‘may not have to depend on DUP votes’

Mrs May is hoping to convince EU member nations her plans for a friendly divorce are workable despite previously being told by them to go back to the drawing board. She met with Jean-Claude Juncker, the President of the EU Commission, and European Council President Donald Tusk, earlier today.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she still believed it was possible to conclude a ‘good and sustainable’ agreement but stressed Germany also is preparing for the risk of a no-deal departure.

EU’s Juncker says aims for close ties with Britain after Brexit

European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker said on Wednesday the EU would not allow Britain to participate in parts of the bloc’s single market after Brexit without honouring its rules.

Image result for EU’s Juncker says aims for close ties with Britain after Brexit

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker delivers a speech during a debate on The State of the European Union at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, September 12, 2018. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler/File Photo

bY CRIMSON TAZVINZWA//European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker on Wednesday renewed a pledge for close trade and security ties with Britain after Brexit, but said the European Union (EU) would not compromise on key withdrawal terms.

“If you leave the Union, you are of course no longer part of our single market, and certainly not only in the parts of it you choose,” Juncker said in his annual state-of-the-union speech to the European Parliament.

Delivering his annual state-of-the-union speech to the European Parliament, Juncker said the EU will not allow Britain to participate only in some parts of the bloc’s single market after Brexit without honoring all of the rules.

“This is why we want to find solutions that prevent a hard border in Northern Ireland,” he said, adding the EU will stand in solidarity with Ireland.