LONDON, Sept. 20 (Xinhua) -- British Prime Minister Theresa May on Thursday was accused of ignoring reality after the head of the European Council said her proposed Brexit blueprint with the EU would not work.
Keith Starmer, Brexit spokesman for Britain's main opposition Labour party seized on the stark warning by Donald Tusk to call on May to "urgently drop her reckless red lines".
May ended a two-day visit to Salzburg during which she attempted to rally support for the plan she has put forward following a meeting of her ministers at her Chequers retreat during the summer.Her blueprint detailed a future trading relationship Britain wants after it leaves the European Union next March.
Speaking to journalists in Austria, Tusk said May's Chequers' plan risked undermining the EU's single market.
In what media in London described as a bruising press conference in Salzburg, May insisted there will not be a second referendum in Britain.
"If there is no agreement that is acceptable to the United Kingdom, we are preparing for no deal," May said, adding Britain was still working towards a free trade deal with Brussels.
Starmer said, "It has been clear for weeks that Theresa May's Chequers' proposals cannot deliver the comprehensive plan we need to protect jobs, the economy and avoid a hard border in Northern Ireland.
"With just weeks to go until a deal must be struck, the Prime Minister cannot keep ignoring this reality. She needs to urgently drop her reckless red lines and put forward a credible plan for Brexit."
Liberal Democrat MP Jo Swinson, a leading supporter of the People's Vote which is campaigning for a national vote on a final Brexit deal, said: "Chequers is dead -- it is official. The EU27 could not be clearer. Chequers is over, whatever Theresa May might suggest.
"Whatever comes out of the negotiations now will inevitably be a very bad deal for Britain."
Swinson added: "Whether it's some version of the Canadian deal, which means masses of red tape, a blindfold Brexit where we have no clue about where we might end up, or a no deal Brexit with Britain cut off from trade with Europe, we are heading for a very bad deal which will be a million miles from what was promised."
In Central London late Thursday afternoon, Nigel Farage, co-founder and former leader of UKIP, the party founded to campaign for Britain to end its membership of the bloc, toured the streets in the "Leave means Leave" battle bus.
The London-based Daily Express said Farage urged May to pursue a simple free trade deal with Brussels.
"I'm afraid Mrs May is in a real pickle," he told the Express, adding: "Maybe this is a big opportunity to chuck Chequers and go back to them with a very simple trade deal, and say 'you have got two months to sign up to this'."
In London, the Guardian newspaper quoted May as saying that criticism of her Brexit plan was a negotiating tactic by the EU.
The newspaper described how May had been ambushed at the end of Salzburg summit when Tusk declared that her proposals would not work.
May told journalists "I have always said these negotiations were going to be tough, and at various stages of these negotiations, tactics would be used as part of those negotiations."
The Guardian said the response from Tusk left May on the defensive, and boosted her political critics at home.
The Daily Telegraph said European leaders united against May's Brexit plan at a bruising Salzburg summit as the prime minister warned Britain is closer than ever to walking away without a deal.
The report said a visibly furious May, who had earlier held a strained meeting with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar over the vexed issue of the Irish border, had expected warm words from the 27 leaders of EU members ahead of a showdown council meeting in October.
But the 27 attacked her plans as unworkable, prompting a defiant May to hit back at the criticism in a tense press conference during which she appeared angry and frustrated, added the Telegraph.
May insisted her Chequers deal was the only serious and credible proposal on the table.
British media also zoomed in on comments made after the summit ended by French President Emmanuel Macron.
Macron said: "Brexit is the choice of the British people, pushed by those who predicted easy solutions. Brexit shows it is not easy to leave the EU, it is not without costs, it is not without consequences."
The focus will now switch to October when both sides have been expected to finalise a future trading relationship.
This was reinforced by Tusk, who in a social media message after the meeting ended, wrote:" Moment of truth for Brexit talks will be October European Council. We expect maximum progress and results by then."