Brexit can still be stopped, Donald Tusk tells Britain

PALabour's Chuka Umunna will join Anna Soubry in leading the delegation

The European Council president said Tuesday that the bloc's "hearts are still open" to the United Kingdom if it changes its mind about Brexit.

Taking to Twitter, Tusk said Europe had never had a change of heart and was still open to the United Kingdom, following many calls from within the United Kingdom to hold a second referendum on the country's future within the bloc, Efe news agency reported.

"He sold Brexit on a false prospectus and with the NHS in crisis people are rightly asking where is the money and if it's not forthcoming they should have the right to change their mind".

The senor minister said at the weekend that the United Kingdom should be seen as "an independent coastal state in law when we leave and the arrangements for fisheries need to reflect that".

"Our hearts are still open to you", Tusk reiterated.

Although the United Kingdom would still be the biggest loser from crashing out of the EU single market and customs union without a new trade deal - with a cost to the economy of £125bn by 2020 - the EU would also suffer a bigger economic hit than previously thought by the end of the decade, according to the consultancy Oxford Economics.

"We, here on the continent, haven't had a change of heart".

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Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament's representative on Brexit issues, told MEPs on Tuesday morning that "We are coming to the most hard part of this negotiation".

"We are not supporting or calling for a second referendum", Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn told ITV on Sunday.

This appears to support leaks that the EU is demanding that any European citizen who moves to Britain before 2020 be given permanent residency rights.

Dutchman Timmermans also rejected claims by British finance minister Philip Hammond that the European Union was pushing a punitive deal for Britain because it was paranoid that other countries would leave.

The highly regulated drugs industry is concerned about Brexit fallout as the European Medicines Agency (EMA) relocates from London to Amsterdam, creating uncertainty about drug approvals after 2019. "The only exception is that Britain will no longer be represented in the institutions that decide on legislation and policies", Verhofstadt said.

Britain and the European Union reached a deal in principle on separation issues in December, and are due to start talks next month on a short transition period after Britain's departure in March 2019. Although European leaders have denied that the blacklisting of offshore financial centres and the Brexit talks are in any way connected, the report says that separate Brussels-based sources told The Independent that the territories "will come into play".

"My message to London is please don't complain anymore".

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