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EU extends deadline for sufficient progress in Brexit talks

Brexit, EUBrussels : Despite continuous efforts and growing common grounds of Britain and the European Union (EU), it was not possible to reach a complete agreement Monday, said EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in a hastily arranged press conference with visiting British Prime Minister Theresa May.

“This is not a failure. This is the start of the very last,” he was quoted as saying.

Extending EU’s deadline by pledging to resume their talks later this week, he added.

Calling May as a tough negotiator in his two-minute briefing, Juncker said he is confident that sufficient progress could be reached before the EU summit slated for December 15.

Echoing Juncker’s optimism, May told reporters in her one-minute speech that “we will conclude this positively.”

“Crucially it is clear that we want to move forward together, but on a couple of issues, differences do remain, which require further negotiation and consultation,” said May before heading to meet President of the European Council Donald Tusk almost one-hour late than scheduled.

Prior to May’s Brussels trip, expectations were high for breakthroughs on three major Brexit issues, namely the divorce bill, Irish border and citizen’s rights.

—IANS

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