Unite leader Len McCluskey has demanded Theresa May call a general election after her Brexit plans were humiliatingly rebuffed at the EU leaders conference in Salzburg yesterday (September 20).
May was given 10 minutes to state her case for her Chequers plans – which Unite described as “undeliverable” upon their release in July – at a dinner with the 27 other EU heads of state during the summit in Austria.
Despite hopes for a positive reception, her plans for a shared rulebook for goods to prevent a hard Irish border were rejected by the EU.
Speaking after the dinner, European Council president Donald Tusk said that May’s “suggested framework for economic co-operation will not work, not least because it is undermining the single market”.
French president Emmanuel Macron also criticised the plan.
He said: “The proposals in their current state are not acceptable, especially on the economic side of it… The Chequers plan cannot be take it or leave it.”
In a jab at leading Brexiteers, Macron added: “Those who explain that we can easily live without Europe, that everything is going to be alright, and that it’s going to bring a lot of money home are liars.
“It’s even more true since they left the day after so as not to have to deal with it.”
Following the summit, May said the negotiations were at an “impasse” and insisted the ball was now in the EU’s court.
Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said the summit was a clear indication that Theresa May and her party are not up to the job of delivering Brexit that doesn’t harm the country.
He said: “Theresa May’s shambles at Salzburg shows there’s no such thing as a ‘good’ Tory Brexit. Time she acts now in the national interest and calls a general election.
“Jobs and livelihoods are at grave risk but she’s incapable of protecting them while so many in her party won’t let her.”