Germany and the EU deliver a double slapdown to Theresa May’s Brexit ‘catfight’ – Mirror.co.uk

Germany and the EU deliver a double slapdown to Theresa May’s Brexit ‘catfight’ – Mirror.co.uk

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Theresa May has suffered a double Brexit blow from the EU after German firms dismissed her plans and an EU leader slammed the Tories as a “catfight”.

The two rebukes come just hours after the Prime Minister returned from meeting world leaders at the G20 in Hamburg.

The European Parliament’s chief Brexit negotiator Guy Verhofstadt delivered the first in an interview at the summit with the Mail on Sunday.

He said: “What started as a catfight in the Conservative Party has now turned into an unsightly war of attrition.

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Brexit should reflect the views of all British people, not just one wing of the Conservative Party. It seems to me that narrow party political interests are being put before the national interest.”

Guy Verhofstadt said a Tory ‘catfight… has turned into an unsightly war of attrition’
(Image: REUTERS)

In a second blow, German business associations BDI and BDA cast doubt on ministers’ claims that the country’s manufacturers will help secure a Brexit trade deal.

Instead they warned Theresa May it will be “extraordinarily difficult” to protect UK industry.

Ministers have frequently claimed that German carmakers, along with other key European industries such as French farmers and winemakers, would lobby their governments to agree a comprehensive deal which maintains tariff-free trade between the UK and the other 27 EU member states.

But the leaders of both organisations said the priority for them was maintaining the integrity of the single market for the 27.

Dieter Kempf, president of the BDI, told the Observer: “Over the coming months, it will be extraordinarily difficult to avert negative effects on British businesses in particular.”

Meanwhile cross-party groups of MPs and peers are already in talks about how to water down a Hard Brexit .

David Jones has claimed some pro-EU Tories are hatching a “conspiracy” over Brexit
(Image: Daily Post Wales)

Recently-ousted Brexit minister David Jones has claimed some Tories are hatching a “conspiracy” to “stymie” leaving the EU.

He wrote that “fanatically pro-EU MPs, both Labour and misguided Tory ones, too, have hatched a cunning plot” to keep the UK in the single market and customs union.

Lib Dem MP Tom Brake told the Sunday Times he expects “legislative war” and the Repeal Bill, to be introduced to Parliament this week, will be strung up with amendments like lights on a Christmas tree.

He added: “The government cannot be trusted with more power than Henry VIII had. I wouldn’t trust them to run a bath.”

And the man set to be the next Lib Dem leader, Sir Vince Cable, said he is “beginning to think Brexit may never happen”.

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“The problems are so enormous. The divisions within the two major parties are so enormous. I can see a scenario in which this doesn’t happen,” he added.

Speaking at the G20, Donald Trump promised a “very very big deal” between Britain and the US would be done “very very quickly”.

Theresa May will try to build on her prospects away from Europe tomorrow as she presses Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull for post-Brexit trade face-to-face.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is making his first official UK visit
(Image: AAP)

Mr Turnbull will enjoy an audience with the Queen and attend talks in Downing Street on his first official visit to the UK.

A No10 spokeswoman told journalists: “The focus of the talks will cover a range of areas with major priority on our security and defence co-operation, including on counter-terrorism, and our growing trade and investment relationships.

“You can expect both Prime Ministers to commit to strengthening the historic and strong partnership we have.”

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