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Juncker says Brexit breakthrough is 'in God's hands'

The EU's most senior official has claimed that a Brexit breakthrough is "in God's hands" ahead of talks with the UK prime minister.

In an interview with German newspaper Stuttgarter Zeitung, the president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker said: "When it comes to Brexit, it is like being before the courts or on the high seas; we are in God's hands.

"And we can never quite be sure when God will take the matter in hand."

 

Theresa May will travel to Brussels on Wednesday evening to meet with Mr Juncker in an attempt to urge the EU to renegotiate the controversial Irish backstop.

Britain is due to leave the EU on 29th March and hasn't requested an extension to allow extra time for negotiations.

However, Mr Juncker stated that an extension of Article 50 was an option to avoid a no-deal.

The European Commission has issued a fresh warning that it will not reopen the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement.

PA Wire

 

A European Commission spokesperson said in a statement: "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."

Downing Street said it was up to the EU side to work with the Government if the UK was to leave with a deal, as both sides want.

"It is still the position of the European Union that they want the United Kingdom to leave with a deal because they acknowledge that is in the interests of the European Union," the Prime Minister's official spokesman said.

"The deal which is on the table has been rejected by 230 votes. MPs have been clear they need legally binding changes in relation to the backstop.

"So the EU needs to work with us in order to give Parliament the assurances that it needs."

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