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I'll be negotiating hard to get deal and backstop changes, says Theresa May

Prime Minister Theresa May has welcomed the EU's commitment to further talks, saying she will be "negotiating hard" to get changes to the backstop.

She described the meetings in Brussels with senior EU leaders as robust but constructive and there was a desire among EU leaders to get a deal.

Earlier the EU's Brexit co-ordinator Guy Verhofstadt said Theresa May had given an assurance the backstop was here to stay.

Following her meetings, Mrs May said: "What I have set out is our clear position that we must secure legally binding changes to the withdrawal agreement to deal with the concerns parliament has over the backstop.

"Changes to the backstop together with the other work we are doing on workers rights and other issues will deliver a stable majority in parliament.

"That's what I will continue to push for.

"Now it is not going to be easy. Crucially President Juncker and I agreed talks will now start to find a way through this and to find a way to get this over the line and to deliver on the concerns parliament has and we can get a majority.

"I am clear I am going to deliver Brexit, on time. That is what I am going to do on behalf of the British public and I am going to be negotiating hard in the coming days to do just that."

She said she raised with Donald Tusk his comments about a place in hell for those without a plan for Brexit telling him they were "not helpful and caused widespread dismay".

"The point I made was that we should both be working to ensure we can deliver a close relationship between the EU and UK and that's what we should be focusing on."

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