May's Demands to EU Unchanged After Deal Defeat, Telegraph Says

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As U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May enters crucial negotiations on Brexit, she has left European leaders dismayed after a series of phone calls in which her position remained unchanged despite Parliament’s defeat of her plan this week, the Telegraph reported, citing people familiar with the discussions.

May, due to unveil her replacement for the rejected plan on Monday, phoned an array of European Union leaders including French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel along with the Dutch and Irish Prime Ministers, Mark Rutte and Leo Varadkar.

In the calls, she focused on the same issues as in the past, especially negotiating on an Irish backstop to seal the border and avoid a hard Brexit, the right of the U.K. to unilaterally withdraw from the bloc and the obligation to agree on a trade deal before 2021, according to the Telegraph. EU officials have rejected those demands in the past, the newspaper said.

The Telegraph quoted a person familiar with the calls describing the content as lacking anything new after lawmakers defeated her plan by 230 votes on Tuesday.

European diplomats think May is again trying to extend the deadline beyond March 29 to find a deal she can sell to Parliament, the newspaper said.

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