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Cards on the table time for Brexit says Donald Tusk

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By Mark Armstrong
Theresa May with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar
Theresa May with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar

European Council President Donald Tusk has said time is running out for the UK to reach a Brexit deal. Speaking after yesterday's EU summit in Brussels he called on the British government to lay its cards on the table and he stressed the need for speed.

There is a great deal of work ahead," said Tusk, "and the most difficult tasks are still unresolved. If you want to reach a deal in October we need quick progress. This is a last call to lay the cards on the table."

UK Prime Minister Theresa May, who left early Friday morning, agreed on the need to speed things up, but insisted that applies to both parties.

"I've been stressing that we want a deal that's going to work for the UK and for our European partners and that if we work together we can support each other's prosperity and security. Now we're going to be publishing our white paper shortly and I want to see the negotiations accelerating and intensifying thereafter. We are ready to intensify and accelerate the pace of negotiations. I want to see that from the European Commission and the European Union as well."

May was due to hold a cabinet meeting on Friday that has been billed as a make-or-break opportunity.