EU rebuffs May, says no-plan Brexiteers deserve 'place in hell'

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Mrs May's trip to Brussels for talks with key players including Mr Tusk and European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker is seen as "part of a process" by Number 10 and it is not clear she has any detailed new proposals to put forward.

The Devil's domain was first mentioned by EU Council president Donald Tusk, when he lambasted the United Kingdom authorities over their attempts to change the already negotiated withdrawal agreement with the bloc.

But as Tusk's pointedly blunt language showed, frustration runs deep among European leaders over the British parliament's rejection of the divorce deal and May's demands that the EU now give up on key principles or face disruption in just 50 days.

But he and Mr Varadkar were preparing for the "possible fiasco" of a no-deal Brexit.

He told reporters that both Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May and Labour opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn had a "pro-Brexit stance".

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(AAP) Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar and Donald Tusk.

Theresa May is due to meet with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker Thursday, where according to United Kingdom media reports she is expected to make a last-minute plea for changes to the Brexit deal she negotiated with the bloc, but which was rejected by Britain's Parliament.

May's spokesman stressed that she wasn't coming to Brussels to ask for more time and remained determined to deliver a Brexit deal before the March 29 deadline.

British Prime Minister Theresa May is due in Brussels on Thursday with what she says is a parliamentary mandate to re-open the withdrawal agreement, sealed between the European Union and her Conservative government in November after 18 months of intense, highly technical negotiations.

Speaking in Brussels Tusk issued a brief statement subbing the removal of the backstop from the agreement, the failsafe to prevent a hard border in Ireland.

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In another stark indication of the stakes for Britain of a disorderly Brexit, Irish nationalists warned May that if she allowed a no-deal Brexit then there would have to be a referendum on Irish unity.

She spoke of an "unshakeable" commitment to avoiding a hard border in Ireland after Brexit, pledging: "The UK Government will not let that happen".

The Irish prime minister suggested that MPs either didn't know what they were doing or were misled when they voted to look for alternatives to the Irish backstop.

In search of elusive unity, May met Wednesday with the DUP, which insists the backstop must be scrapped, and with other Northern Ireland parties who insist it must stay. DUP MP Sammy Wilson said Mr Tusk and his "arrogant European Union negotiators" had "fanned the flames of fear in an attempt to try to overturn the result of the referendum".

He said that in light of ongoing uncertainty in the UK, EU leaders have agreed that no-deal preparation must continue and intensify.

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