Belfast Telegraph

Juncker: I cannot stress enough how much work still has to be done

 

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker described the deal struck in Brussels as a "compromise":

It is the result of a long and intense discussion between the Commission negotiators and those of the UK.

As in any negotiation, both sides have to listen to each other, adjust their position and show a willingness to compromise.

This was a difficult negotiation for the European Union as well as for the UK.

And it had to be concluded today because next week we have the European Council and in order to allow our partners to prepare in the best way possible, we had to make the deal today. Brexit created great uncertainty for those citizens and for their families.

Today we bring back the certainty, the Commission's negotiators have made sure that the choices made by the EU citizens living in the UK will be protected. We have made sure that their rights will remain the same after the UK has left the European Union.

On Ireland, the EU has consistently supported the goal of peace and reconciliation enshrined in the Good Friday Agreement. The European Union has made it a priority to protect the peace process on the island. I have been in regular contact with the Taoiseach over the last days, including last night, and including last negotiations we had in the course of yesterday with our Irish friends. The UK has made significant commitments on the avoidance of a hard border after its withdrawal from the European Union.

All of the EU 27 stand firmly behind Ireland and behind the peace process. Let me be clear, we still have a lot of work to do.

The joint report is not the withdrawal agreement, that agreement still needs to be drafted by the negotiators on the basis we have agreed yesterday and today and then approved by the Council and ratified by the UK Parliament and European Parliament."

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