An extraordinary meeting between European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker with UK Prime Minister Theresa May will take place on Wednesday at 18:30 in Brussels was announced by the European Commission.
“The EU27 will not reopen the withdrawal agreement, we cannot accept a time-limit to the backstop or a unilateral exit clause, and further talks will be held this week to see whether a way through can be found that would gain the broadest possible support in the UK parliament and respect the guidelines agreed by the European Council,” said the EU Commission in an official statement.
The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, will brief the College of Commissioners of the latest developments and will stress that the aim of Wednesday’s meeting is to find a formula that will be supported by the House of Commons.
According to Juncker, a breakthrough in Wednesday’s Brexit talks is “in God’s hands”, and added that an extension of Article 50 was an option to avoid a no-deal.
Ahead of May’s visit, Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay and Attorney General Geoffrey Cox travelled to Brussels to make another attempt to renegotiate the controversial Irish backstop. According to a UK spokesperson, the meeting they had with Barnier was “productive”, but the EU executive “expressed concerns about their viability to resolve the backstop”.
Barclay and Cox are expected to accompany May to Brussels, along with a team of lawyers of the British government.
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