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May, Juncker to meet on Thursday on Brexit impasse

Xinhua | Updated: 2019-02-06 07:16

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May is seen outside Downing Street in London, Britain January 30, 2019. [Photo/Agencies]

LONDON — British Prime Minister Theresa May will travel to Brussels on Thursday to meet European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker for further talks on Brexit concessions despite repeated public statements by the European Union that the Brexit deal reached earlier by London and Brussels will not be renegotiated.

May will reportedly aim to formally ask the EU to reopen the Withdrawal Agreement following the passing by the British Parliament last week of the so-called Brady amendment, which calls for "alternative arrangements" to replace the contentious Irish backstop, the prime minister's spokesman said here Tuesday.

"Following the vote, work has been taking place on all of the options and it is important for that to take place before we go to Brussels," May's spokesman said.

May told her cabinet ministers on Tuesday that her goal was to ensure in a legally binding way that the United Kingdom could not be trapped indefinitely in the backstop.

Juncker will host the visiting prime minister in Brussels a day after his meeting with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar.

It is unclear whether May would present one or several options when she meets Juncker.

Also on Tuesday, European leaders called on May to table a plan to solve the Brexit impasse as Downing Street continued to insist that Britain will leave the EU on Mar 29.

May delivered a speech in Belfast Tuesday afternoon, in which she reaffirmed her commitment to avoiding a hard border with the Republic of Ireland.

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