EU steps up planning for no-deal Brexit

Jean-Claude Juncker said Theresa May failed to bring a clear plan for how the European Union should help her get the Brexit deal past the British parliament.

epa07229988 European commission President Jean-Claude Juncker gives a press conference at the end of first day at the European Council in Brussels, Belgium, 13 December 2018. During their two days summit, European leaders will focus on the 'Brexit' and on the next long-term EU budget for 2021-2027. The Summit will resume on 14 December with the EU28 adoption of the conclusions on the Single Market, climate change, migration, disinformation, the fight against racism and xenophobia, and citizens' consultations.  EPA/OLIVIER HOSLET
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The European Union said it would step up planning for a no-deal Brexit as Prime Minister Theresa May failed to clinch new guarantees on the divorce deal that would help convince lawmakers at home to back it.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said the bloc would publish new no-deal preparation documents on December 19. After a discussion about how to make the Brexit deal more palatable to the British Parliament, Mr Juncker said it was up to Mrs May to come up with new ideas.

“Theresa May has led a courageous fight but unfortunately we are not seeing the results. There will be no renegotiation, that is clear," Mr Juncker told reporters.

Mrs May had come to Brussels hoping for some additional "assurances" on the most controversial part of her Brexit deal - the so-called Irish border backstop. Leaders reiterated that they would work to make sure the backstop never comes into effect, and that if it does it would only be temporary. But the words fall short of what’s needed to convince a sceptical Parliament to pass her deal.

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Mr Juncker said the British "still need to say what they want instead of asking us what we want."

If Mrs May can’t persuade Parliament to back her plan, Britain will be on course to crash out of the club of 28 countries in just over three months’ time, unleashing political and economic chaos.