Foreign Affairs
May speaks of ‘robust’ discussion with Juncker due to comments he made about her

The last European Council under the Austrian Presidency ended in Brussels with little progress on the Brexit issue. British Prime Minister, Theresa May, was not happy with comments made by European Commission’s President, Jean Claude Juncker, and had to face him to clarify his comments.

During the two-day summit, attended by Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, the European Council decided, among others, to strengthen controls on EU external borders and the fight against migrants trafficking.

Prime Minister May believes that she may be given the assurances that British MPs want in order to support the UK’s agreement on Brexit, despite that the European Union made it clear that it will no re-negotiate the agreement. She said that talks to clarify certain points of disagreement should continue and expressed her disappointment with Juncker following his comments that the Brexit agreement debate was nebulous.

Before the European Council resumed its meeting, May was seen facing Juncker who tried to calm the British Prime Minister.

May stated “what came out of that was his clarity that actually when he used that particular phrase (nebulous) he’d been talking about a general level of debate.”

Commission President Juncker clarified that he wasn’t referring to May, but to the debate in the United Kingdom, describing May as a woman of courage who has been doing her duty in the best possible way.

European Council President, Donald Tusk, stated that Prime Minister May was treated with the best respect and appreciated her efforts to ratify the Brexit agreement. Tusk added that the European leaders agreed to support measures for external border controls of the EU, the fight against traffickers and increased cooperation with countries of origin on migration. The European Council stated that more needs to be done to ensure that the EU single market evolves to embrace digital transformation, including artificial intelligence.

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