'This is the last call': EU warns UK time is running out to avoid a no-deal Brexit

  • The UK is running out of time to secure a Brexit deal, European Council president Donald Tusk warned on Friday.
  • Tusk said the biggest sticking points in negotiations were still “still unresolved.”
  • “If we want to reach a deal in October, we need quick progress. This is the last call to lay the cards on the table,” he said.

LONDON – The European Union has told Theresa May that time is running out to secure a Brexit deal and warned “the most difficult tasks” in negotiations “are still unresolved.”

European Council president Donald Tusk echoed growing frustration among EU leaders at the lack of progress in Brexit negotiations and called on May’s government to break Cabinet disunity and “lay the cards on the table.”

“There is a great deal of work ahead, and the most difficult tasks are still unresolved,” Tusk told reporters at a press conference in Brussels on Friday afternoon,

“If we want to reach a deal in October, we need quick progress. This is the last call to lay the cards on the table,” he said.

May’s Cabinet showdown

The UK is expected to publish its long-awaited Brexit white paper next week, a 100-page document which could provide the greatest clarity yet on its negotiating position and intentions for the future UK-EU relationship.

But Prime Minister May faces a tough challenge in persuading her 30-strong Cabinet to back her plans, which are expected to represent a softening of the UK’s current approach to leaving the EU.

Tusk was speaking at the conclusion of the European Council summit in Brussels. Brexit had initially been touted as one of the biggest items of the agenda, but a lack of progress in negotiations, as well as more pressing issues such as the European migration crisis, meant that the issue was booted down the agenda.

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