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12/14/2018, 12:57 AM (Source: TeleTrader)
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EU not open for Brexit renegotiation

European leaders said, after their meeting on Brexit, that the United Kingdom's withdrawal agreement was "not open for renegotiation" and that it is the "best and only deal possible." The European Council said in its summit conclusions that it stands by the Withdrawal Agreement and "intends to proceed with its ratification."

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker also said that there would be no further renegotiation. "We don't want the UK to think there can be any form of renegotiation, that is crystal clear. We can add clarifications but no real changes," he said.

British Prime Minister Theresa May suggested earlier a starting date for a "future relationship" in the place of an expiry date for the Irish backstop but Brussels insisted that "the backstop is intended as an insurance policy to prevent a hard border on the island of Ireland and ensure the integrity of the Single Market." EU leaders, however, offered the UK a date by which an alternative agreement could displace the backstop. "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," the statement said.

Breaking the News / KP