Brexit: the EU presses Theresa May ahead of crunch talks with a warning to sink the British economy

Brussels has published data showing that Britain will have the weakest growth in the EU over the next two years, putting pressure on Theresa May as they seek their agreement for a Brexit deal.

The European Commission officials have warned that the UK economy will collapse even if the Brexit is flowing, while a disorderly withdrawal would further reduce the country's forecasts.

The move to highlight the terrible consequences of a disorderly Brexit comes just as the British negotiators try to convince their counterparts in Brussels that they are ready to sign a withdrawal agreement and come to an agreement on a future report.

But the prime minister is also now under strong pressure from his ministers – before the government collapsed on Monday – and his DUP partners in the government would not allow too much in the negotiations.

With the talks both in London and in Brussels that reached the critical moment, an EU commissioner suggested that an agreement would not be signed by the leaders of the block until December, leaving little time to be approved before Christmas by the House of Commons.

In its autumn projections, the commission estimated that the growth of the United Kingdom this year will come to only 1.3%, down from 1.7% in 2017.

We expect growth in 2019, the year in which Britain will leave the EU, to fall to 1.2 percent, with the same result in 2020.

No country in the EU except Italy, in a stalemate with Brussels over its finances, is expected to have weaker growth in 2019 – but in 2020 the UK's expected performance is the worst of today's 28 states of the block.

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The UK forecasts are even worse than those formulated by the Office for Budget Responsibility, which in the last week's Report forecasts a growth of 1.6 percent in 2019, followed by 1.4. percent in 2020.

The committee also stressed that its negative predictions are based on a "benign" scenario of trade in the United Kingdom, while the rest of the European Union continues uninterrupted.

He said consumer confidence surveys suggested weak household spending, adding that the uncertainty of Brexit would probably keep business investments "subdued".

Net trade is expected to continue dragging UK growth and see the UK unemployment rate rise to 4.7% by 2020, compared to 4% today.

The commission also predicted a slowdown in eurozone growth between 2018 and 2020, due to global uncertainty, Donald Trump's commercial wars and higher international oil prices.

But the implications for Brexit and what will happen if it is untidy is clear, with a separate official EU document in anticipation of a council meeting on Monday stating that parts of the withdrawal agreement still "require further negotiations, in particular to avoid a hard border "in Ireland.

The negotiators have been stuck on what happens on the Irish border if a new trade relationship has not yet been agreed by the UK and the EU by the end of the transition period in December 2020.

This decision can not be subcontracted to someone else – which must be a problem for a sovereign British government to be able to determine

Dr Liam Fox, international trade secretary

In these circumstances, Brussels wants at least Northern Ireland to remain in the EU's customs union until a trade agreement is resolved, to keep the border with the Republic open, but the lady May wants a solution in which the whole United Kingdom remains in a customs agreement for a limited period of time.

Tory The Brexiteers are demanding that Britain be able to leave this proposed support agreement unilaterally, but Mrs. May said that this could leave the UK decision open to the challenge in the courts and is instead trying to convince the eurosceptics of the government that the only legally viable approach is a purpose built "backstop" review mechanism, which would allow Britain to leave it in a joint decision with the EU.

But it is not clear whether Ms May's cabinet ministers are convinced. When the secretary of international trade Liam Fox was asked Thursday if a "mutually agreed withdrawal" from the backstop was acceptable, he suggested that he would not deliver the "instructions from our voters" given by the referendum.

"This decision can not be subcontracted to someone else – this must be a problem for a British sovereign government that is able to determine," he insisted.

The members of the government have asked to see the legal opinion that the government received on the mechanism, with a source that says L & # 39; Independent the ministers want to be sure that there are no other credible options from a legal point of view.

The former Secretary of Brexit David Davis: there will be "some" hiccup& # 39; In the next year if Britain can not reach an agreement with the EU

The insider said: "Legal advice has not yet been provided.

"It is only logical that ministers have been given a verbal summary, but they want to see it written on paper.It is well known that verbal summaries change."

Another source at the cabinet level said: "We have to be able to see in black and white that there is no other way." If you find out what it is, and what the PM has said it is a political discussion, not legal, then there may be a disagreement on Monday. "

Ms May will also have to convince her Northern Ireland partners that the review mechanism and backstop generally meet their needs.

But Deputy DUP Sammy Wilson poured cold water on Thursday, telling L & # 39; Independent: "The revision mechanism is not something that will exceed your party, let alone ourselves.

"Leave the final decision partly in the hands of the EU and it's never something that will benefit the United Kingdom.

"The EU will always find reasons and excuses to keep the blockade continuous, the idea of ​​the mechanism itself is an excuse to keep us backstop indefinitely – this is the reason why the full legal advice was sought by the ministers and ourselves ".

Branding the way the negotiations were treated as "incompetent", he added: "[The PM] he seems to think that the agreement he has to strike is an agreement with the EU without realizing that he has to carry on his party.

"It is totally obscured by internal difficulties, it does not offer the premises it has established, which requires a completely different mentality".


The Independent launched the #FinalSay campaign to ask voters to voice the final operation on Brexit.

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