EU offers no new reassurances on Brexit deal

World Today

“No new assurances, no new talks.” – That’s the message European Union leaders gave to British Prime Minister Theresa May at a summit in Brussels.

She is desperate to get assurances on her Brexit deal to help it pass the U.K. Parliament.

CGTN’s Mariam Zaidi has more.

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May, who had seen off a rebellion to her premiership by her own MPs late on Wednesday night, came to Brussels on Thursday to win legal assurances from EU leaders on the Irish border backstop and get her Brexit deal passed in the U.K. by the end of January.

“Yesterday was a difficult day. And I’m grateful for the significant support I had from colleagues. But I’ve also heard loud and clear the concerns of those who didn’t feel able to support me and I know the concerns there are in the House of Commons about this issue of the backstop and that they do not want it to be permanent,” said Theresa May the British Prime Minister.

The mood seemed positive and many at the summit offered May support.

“She has to deliver a difficult job. The two of us we were Prime ministers. We have sometimes faced motions asking for our resignation it will happen to Sebastian in a short period of time,” said Jean Claude Juncker the President of the EU Commission.

Thursday evening May addressed them and then they spoke together without her but it seemed there would be no stocking filler for the U.K. The legal text of the withdrawal agreement and that protocol on Ireland wasn’t going to change.

“The Union stands by this agreement and intends to proceed with its ratification. It is not open for renegotiation. It is the Union’s firm determination to work speedily on a subsequent agreement that establishes by 31 December 2020 alternative arrangements, so that the backstop will not need to be triggered,” said Donald Tusk EU Council President.

As the summit restarted Friday, a tense exchange between May and Juncker was caught on camera. Had the EU Commission President, Jean Claude Juncker, really called her nebulous which means hazy or imprecise?

“I was not addressing her. And in the morning after having checked what I said yesterday night, she was kissing me,” Juncker said.

But as she faced the media at the end of the summit, Theresa May seemed to suggest the EU had offered more than just “assurances” on the Irish backstop.

“As formal conclusions, these commitments have legal status and therefore should be welcomed,” said Theresa May the British Prime Minister.

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