EU ministers insist new PM faces 'take-it-or-leave-it' Brexit ultimatum from Brussels

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Foreign affairs ministers from across the bloc insisted the withdrawal agreement struck between Theresa May and her EU counterparts remains the only deal on the table. “Some details” are open for negotiation if the next prime minister can prove they can secure support for the deal in Westminster, the EU ministers told reporters in Luxembourg. The Tory leadership hopefuls were accused of lying in their claims that they will be able to secure changes to Mrs May’s 585-page divorce deal.

Jean Asselborn, Luxembourg’s foreign minister, blast: “I think they are wrong.”

He added: “Independently of the name of the new prime minister, the deal is on the table and it is take it or leave it.

“Maybe we can negotiate some details. But in general, concerning the money, citizens and the backstop everything is done.”

Romanian foreign minister Teodor Viorel Melescanu said there is room for manoeuvre but chances for a compromise are getting “shorter and shorter”.

He predicted the possibility of a hard Brexit is very much on the table if the new prime minister cannot support Mrs May’s deal.

“If we arrive at a conclusion we can have a negotiated agreement, it would be perfect from our point of view,” he said.

“If not, we will see what happens… a hard Brexit maybe?”

Estonian foreign minister Urumas Reinsalu said the “EU will remain united” on not allowing a complete overhaul of the current Brexit deal.

The EU foreign ministers were kind about their former colleague and current frontrunner in the Tory leadership contest, Boris Johnson.

Mr Asselborn said: “He was not a bad foreign minister.”

When asked if Mr Johnson would make a good prime minister, Mr Viorel Melescanu replied: “It sounds good.

“He’s a very nice guy. He was my colleague there and I appreciated him.”

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