Sunday, February 17, 2019 | ePaper

EU offers new Brexit deal clarity, won't renegotiate: Juncker

  • Print


European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker attends a news conference after the extraordinary EU leaders summit to finalise and formalise the Brexit agreement in Brussels, Belgium.

Reuters, Strasbourg  :
The European Union is willing to give Britain further clarifications on its Brexit deal but will not renegotiate the treaty or its protocol on the Irish border, EU chief executive Jean-Claude Juncker said on Tuesday.
Addressing the European Parliament in Strasbourg, the European Commission president said he was "astonished" at Prime Minister Theresa May's inability to get the package agreed with the EU last month through the British parliament.
Noting that he would meet May in Brussels on Tuesday evening ahead of an EU summit on Thursday and Friday, Juncker said: "The deal we achieved is the best possible. It's the only deal possible. There is no room whatsoever for renegotiation."
"But of course there is room enough to give further clarifications and further interpretations without opening the withdrawal agreement," he said. "The withdrawal agreement will not be reopened."
Juncker repeated that neither side wanted ever to use a "backstop" that would keep Britain in a customs union with the EU in the absence of a better way to avoid extensive border checks between Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland.
"We have a common determination to do everything to be not in a situation one day to use that backstop but we have to prepare. It's necessary for the entire coherence of what we have agreed. It's necessary for Britain and it's necessary for Ireland. Ireland will never be left alone."
The chairman of European Union summits Donald Tusk is scheduled to meet British Prime Minister Theresa May at 1600 GMT on Tuesday, his spokesman said.
May is on a tour of EU capitals to seek last minute changes to the already agreed deal on Britain's withdrawal from the EU in order to push the agreement through British parliament.
She is to meet Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and finish with a meeting with Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.
Meanwhile, embattled British Prime Minister Theresa May launched a tour of European capitals on Tuesday in a desperate bid to salvage her Brexit deal, a day after delaying a parliamentary vote on the text to avoid a crushing defeat.
May held talks in The Hague with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte before heading to Berlin to meet Chancellor Angela Merkel as she struggles to unite British lawmakers behind her faltering plan.
She was then to see EU President Donald Tusk and European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker in Brussels.
"I'm surprised because we had reached an agreement on the 25th of November" at the last EU summit, Juncker told the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Tuesday, dubbing Brexit a "surprise guest" at this week's summit.

More News For this Category

Turkey has not revealed all about Khashoggi killing : Erdogan

Turkey has not revealed all about Khashoggi killing : Erdogan

AFP, Ankara :Turkey has not yet revealed all the information it has discovered about the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Iran threatens retaliation over car bombing that killed 27

Iran threatens retaliation over car bombing that killed 27

AP, Isfahan :The head of Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guard threatened to retaliate against neighboring Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates over a suicide car bombing this week that killed 27

Ex- Cardinal McCarrick defrocked over sex abuse allegations

Ex- Cardinal McCarrick defrocked over sex abuse allegations

AFP, Vatican :Pope Francis has defrocked a former cardinal in a first for the Roman Catholic church over accusations American Theodore McCarrick sexually abused a teenager 50 years ago, a

North Koreans pay tribute to Kim's father in freezing cold

North Koreans pay tribute to Kim's father in freezing cold

AFP, Pyongyang :The Day of the Shining Star dawned bitterly cold in Pyongyang. But thousands of North Koreans lined up in temperatures of minus 8 degrees Celsius on Saturday to

French to mark three months of 'yellow vest' protests

French to mark three months of 'yellow vest' protests

Demonstrators are to hit French city streets again Saturday, marking three months of "yellow vest" protests as a poll now suggests that most of the country wants them to stop.The

News In Brief

Thousands of UK kids skip school for climate protestsAFP, LondonThousands of schoolchildren went on "strike" across Britain on Friday in a protest against climate change, with hundreds rallying in London's

Kosovars feel trapped in EU visa 'cage'

AFP, Pristina :Kosovars are increasingly vexed by the massive amount of time, money and paperwork needed to obtain visas to enter the European Union-a process not required of any

Trump heavier, but in ‘very good health’: Doctor

Trump heavier, but in ‘very good health’: Doctor

AFP, Washington :President Donald Trump is a little heavier than last year and needs a higher dose of cholesterol medicine, but remains in "very good health," his official doctor

Political deadlock beckons as Spain's PM calls April election

Political deadlock beckons as Spain's PM calls April election

Reuters, Madrid : Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez called a snap national election for April 28 on Friday after parliament voted down his budget bill, spelling an uncertain few months

Maduro reveals secret meetings with US envoy

Maduro reveals secret meetings with US envoy

AP, Caracas, Venezuela :A month into Venezuela's high-stakes political crisis, President Nicolas Maduro revealed in an AP interview that his government held secret talks with the Trump administration and