Jean-Claude Juncker tells Theresa May her Brexit deal is not open to renegotiation
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has said Theresa May's Brexit deal is not open to renegotiation, as part of a joint statement issued between him and the Prime Minister.
The pair met on Thursday morning to "review the next steps in the UK’s withdrawal from the EU", and they issued a statement following their talks.
"The talks were held in a spirit of working together to achieve the UK’s orderly withdrawal from the EU," the statement said.
"Especially in the context of a shared determination to achieve a strong partnership for the future given the global challenges the EU and the UK face together in upholding open and fair trade, cooperation in the fight against climate change and terrorism and defending the rules-based international system.
"The Prime Minister described the context in the UK parliament, and the motivation behind last week’s vote in the House of Commons seeking a legally binding change to the terms of the backstop. She raised various options for dealing with these concerns in the context of the Withdrawal Agreement in line with her commitments to the Parliament."
"President Juncker underlined that the EU27 will not reopen the Withdrawal Agreement, which represents a carefully balanced compromise between the European Union and the UK, in which both sides have made significant concessions to arrive at a deal.
"President Juncker however expressed his openness to add wording to the Political Declaration agreed by the EU27 and the UK in order to be more ambitious in terms of content and speed when it comes to the future relationship between the European Union and the UK. President Juncker drew attention to the fact that any solution would have to be agreed by the European Parliament and the EU27."
The statement claims the talks were "robust but constructive", and finished by saying, "The two leaders agreed that their teams should hold talks as to 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."
May and Juncker will meet again before the end of February to take stock of their discussions.