Theresa May has insisted she will not be forced into watering down her Brexit plan during negotiations with the EU.

The prime minister says she will “not be pushed” into compromises on her Chequers agreement that are not in the “national interest”.

But Mrs May also warns she will not “give in” to those calling for a second referendum on the withdrawal agreement.

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German business leaders have raised the alarm over the state of Brexit negotiations and are urging the UK government to soften its position ahead of make-or-break talks with Brussels in the coming weeks.

“We have reached a critical phase. The time that remains is incredibly short,” Joachim Lang, the director-general of Germany’s BDI industry federation, told the Financial Times.