The leading Brexiteer MP warned the European Union’s behaviour throughout Brexit negotiations simply proves it “wants control” over Britain. Speaking on Sky News, Mr Raab warned: “Is there any sign from the EU that they would say ‘ok we need a few extra weeks because we need to work on this question of exit mechanism’.
“If Michel Barnier had come back with something positive the mood might be different.
“But he hasn’t. He has come back with a very provocative set of proposals which would effectively put a wedge between Northern Ireland and the rest of Great Britain and that would be very damaging for Northern Ireland but it would have other precedents for the rest of the UK – that’s clearly unacceptable.
“So, it feels to me that we have reached close to the end of the road.
“But let’s see. More proposals could come from the EU in the next few days.
“But we have reached the point at which the EU is just insisting on this very bad deal because it wants to exercise control over us and not really allow us to leave the EU and take the opportunities of leaving the EU.”
The prominent Brexiteer said in order to get the support of MPs Theresa May would need to provide legally binding changes to the withdrawal agreement, with a particular focus on the exit mechanism.
Mr Raab added: “Let’s see – there is still time. But this is for the EU to decide now.”
The former Brexit Secretary also warned Prime Minister Theresa May she could be staring down the barrel of defeat on her controversial deal if there are no changes made in crunch talks with the EU over the coming days.
The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier announced Brussel’s latest solution to the backstop issue on Friday.
Mr Barnier claimed he had offered Britain a choice where the UK will “not be forced into a customs union against its will”.
The EU’s latest proposal gives the UK the chance to leave the full UK-wide customs union of the Irish backstop mechanism and return to the Northern Ireland-only arrangement, which Mrs May has previously rejected.
But the apparent concession was quickly rejected by Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay who accused the EU of attempting to “rerun old arguments”.
Next week, the Prime Minister will put her withdrawal agreement to a “meaningful vote” in the House of Commons.
If that fails, MPs will be offered two separate votes – one on a no-deal Brexit, and the other on requesting an extension to the two-year Article 50 negotiation process to delay EU withdrawal beyond March 29.