EU's Tusk says no more Brexit negotiations

Theresa May U.K. prime minister speaks during a news conference at a European Union leaders summit in Brussels Belgium on Friday Dec. 14 2018

Whether Mrs May is delusional or consciously bluffing is becoming harder to tell. Credit Jasper Juinen Bloomberg

Britain's exit from the European Union was heading for an impasse, one senior minister said on Saturday, after a week in which Prime Minister Theresa May failed to win EU assurances on her deal and pulled a vote because United Kingdom lawmakers would defeat it.

As Juncker puts his hand on May's arm to placate her, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte is seen striding across the room to restore the peace.

Justin went on to point out that he thought it was "an age-centric decision to vote out" and that people who have now reached the voting age since the original referendum 30 months ago should be given an opportunity to vote in a People's Vote.

Meanwhile, Mrs May has been told by a former minister not to "run down the clock" on giving MPs a proper say on Brexit.

Rebel Tories and Labour MPs concerned at the Northern Ireland backstop agreement - which critics fear could indefinitely tie the United Kingdom to European Union rules with London having no scope to end it - will only get verbal reassurances from the European Union on the subject.

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Mrs May - who is engaged in crucial talks at the European Council summit in Brussels - was clearly angry as she appreared to berate Mr Juncker for briefing journalists that her address to leaders of the 27 remaining states yesterday evening had been "nebulous".

But the prime minister's Brexit deal - which was dramatically pulled from the House of Commons floor on Monday as it became clear Mrs May had no chance of passing it - is in tatters. The "meaningful vote" in parliament was called off after Mrs May faced a "significant" defeat, which prompted a no-confidence vote in her leadership, which she survived by a majority of 85.

May's optimism jars with a briefing given by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker last night, in which he dismissed May's efforts to further improve her Brexit deal and criticised her "nebulous and imprecise" approach to exit talks. We can add clarifications but no real changes.

European Union officials say the British should be satisfied with their pledge to move quickly in negotiations over a subsequent free trade deal.

The UK can not leave that arrangement of its own accord.

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May said: "My discussions with colleagues today have shown that further clarification and discussion, following the Council's conclusions is, in fact, possible".

"Our UK friends need to say what they want, instead of asking us to say what we want", said Mr Juncker.

Asked about what she had said to him, Mrs May told reporters they had had a "robust discussion".

As the Prime Minister considers what her next move might be, here is a look at some of the options open to her.

"A deal was signed off which the prime minister should have known would not gain the support of Parliament".

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"So we would like within a few weeks our United Kingdom friends to set out their expectations for us because this debate is sometimes nebulous and imprecise and I would like clarifications".

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