Greek minister insists the UK ‘cannot enjoy same rights’ as EU member states after Brexit


Prime Minister Theresa May faces an uphill struggle when she returns her deal to Parliament in the week commencing June 3. She will make another attempt to pass her contested withdrawal bill in the face of growing calls for her to resign as Conservative party leader. In a speech on Tuesday, Mrs May offered what she called “significant further changes” to the Brexit bill, offering sweeteners in her final attempt to avoid the UK leaving the EU without a deal.

These include the possibility of holding a vote on a second referendum and a compromise on customs arrangements.

But with widely expected to fail again, EU27 member states again confirmed they will not budge or renegotiate any further terms or deals.

On Tuesday, Greece’s minister of Foreign Affairs, Giorgos Katrougalos, released a statement at the end of a meeting with EU Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier.

Mr Katrougalos said the agreement – which although unratified by the UK Government has been signed off by the EU27 – was a “good agreement”.

However, the Greek minister said Mrs May’s current agreement with the bloc was “the only one that can be accepted at this time”.

Going on, Mr Katrougalos said: “Remember that whoever leaves a club cannot enjoy the same rights as those who remain in it”

Following his meeting with Mr Barnier, an official statement read: “From the very beginning, we did not wish for the negotiating process to have a punitive nature.

“We did not want the message to be that any country leaving the European Union will be punished, because what we want is for member-states to remain in the European Union precisely because they feel that the European dream is a dream that we must serve for the good of the people, and of the many.

“Mr Barnier ensured this unity, sought every possible way for us to reach an agreement.

“And indeed, we have a good agreement, which is the only one that can be accepted at this time, in order to avoid the worst possible scenario, which is the scenario of a “no deal;” in other words, Great Britain’s exit without an agreement. “

Following uproar from 1922 Committee of backbench MPs, Theresa May will meet with Sir Graham Brady to set out a timetable for her exit from office, regardless of whether her deal is ratified by ministers.

But some say the Prime Minister could even face being booted from office as early as this Sunday.

Meanwhile, the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg said Nigel Evans, leading a new campaign to take the Prime minister out of power, vowed that it will be “over” for May by Sunday.

She tweeted: “There is a new push to oust PM asap so she doesn’t have chance to put the bill forward being led by Nigel Evans – tory backbench cttee meeting today – one tells me ‘it’s Sunday’ – day when euro results come thro that it’s over.”

Additional reporting by Maria Ortega.


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