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EU, UK 'like two hedgehogs who love each other,' says EU leader Juncker

Following the informal Brexit summit in Salzburg, EU Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker said UK-EU relations should not be "dramatized." The European Commission chief insisted that the two sides were "not at war."

European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker tried to diffuse the tension between the EU and the UK after tough meetings in Austria led to fears that no Brexit deal could be reached. Juncker said on Friday that the negotiations for the British exit are beginning to resemble a prickly courtship.

Juncker cautioned that the situation between Britain and the EU should not be "overdramatized." Britain "will remain an important partner in trade and security for the EU. But with the British, we're losing a bit of pragmatism. That is why the exit deeply saddens me," Juncker said.  Nevertheless, Juncker said it was "also clear that there can be no leaving the EU while retaining the privileges of the community."

The European Commission head insisted that the two sides were "moving closer" toward resolving the main sticking point of the border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Both London and Brussels have pledged to avoid any physical infrastructure, a so-called "hard border," but beyond that, the two sides have not come to a solution.

On the topic of a new Brexit referendum, Juncker said May had made it clear in Salzburg this option was not on the table. Still, he said the British legislature should get some say in the final result. The UK and the EU are set to meet again in a formal summit in November, where both sides are hoping to have a final Brexit deal.

Source: Deutsche Welle 

Päivitetty/Updated: 21.09.2018




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