European leaders have launched a campaign to sell the Brexit deal struck with Theresa May on a “take it or leave it” basis as EU ambassadors in Brussels collectively agreed it would be impossible to make major changes. Putting aside the anxieties of some about the 585-page withdrawal text, the 27 member states collectively ruled out a redrafting of the agreement by either side during a meeting with Michael Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator. Barnier had told the EU ambassadors they should not engage in “bargaining”, despite the political situation in the UK. A number of British cabinet ministers are said to have chosen to stay in their posts purely to engineer a change in the agreement. France and Germany did press the European commission to put more “positive” language into the draft political declaration on the future trade deal that will accompany the withdrawal agreement, which is still being negotiated with the British. Olly Robbins, Downing Street’s Brexit adviser, was in Brussels on Friday and will return on Saturday. Ambassadors for France and Germany called for a preamble to be added to the seven-page document due to be published on Tuesday in which both sides would commit to “an… Read full this story
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