British Prime Minister Theresa May said Wednesday that further progress has been made in Brexit negotiations following a lengthy meeting with EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in Brussels.
“We have had a very good meeting this evening. We have made further progress, and as a result, we have given sufficient direction to our negotiators,” May said in an interview with local media.“I hope for them to be able to resolve the remaining issues and that work will start immediately. I now plan to return for further meetings, including with President Juncker on Saturday, to discuss how we can bring to a conclusion this process and bring it to a conclusion in the interests of all our people,”
she added. The prime minister will return to Brussels on Saturday in what will be an emergency meeting to finalize the draft withdrawal agreement and the political declaration it contains. The emergency meeting was announced after German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she would be unwilling to negotiate with May unless she had a finalized agreement to present at the extraordinary Brexit summit on Sunday.
Merkel’s stern announcement threw a spanner in the Brexit works at No. 10 Downing Street, which had planned to push for an agreement among the EU27 leaders before the ‘meaningful vote’ on May’s deal in parliament in December.May said that although many issues were covered in the meeting with Juncker, there were additional issues that needed to be resolved and that work on those issues would start immediately before a full Brexit deal could be published. “Very good progress was made in the meeting between President Juncker and Prime Minister Theresa May. Work is continuing,” said a spokesman for the EU Commission.
London and Brussels have signed off on May’s withdrawal agreement, a 585-page document that covers citizens’ rights, the £39 billion (US$49.8 billion) divorce settlement and the contentious Irish border issue. May finalized her Brexit withdrawal agreement on Nov. 13, and although her cabinet has reluctantly agreed to support it, it has faced mass criticism from within her party and from the opposition Labour Party, with two of her cabinet ministers resigning in protest.
It is yet to be seen whether May will be able to pass her Brexit deal through parliament as Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party, which May is depending on for getting her legislation through parliament, has repeatedly stated that they will vote against her deal as will other parties within parliament.
Source: Anadolu Agency