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EU presidency urges Britain to ditch Brexit

AFP  |  Sofia 

Bulgaria, which holds the presidency of the EU, today warned of poor progress in talks and told Britain it was still not too late to abandon its plan to quit the bloc. Boyko Borisov, the Bulgarian prime minister, said he had so far seen nothing in the talks on Britain's exit in March 2019 to give him hope for a good outcome. The comments will come as a blow to British as her senior ministers embark on a flurry of speeches to outline Britain's ambitions for "I really hope that the talks on will take a turn, so that no damage will be incurred for anyone," Borisov told reporters in Sofia, where EU foreign ministers are gathering for talks. "I'm not a big optimist.

So far I haven't seen any progress than can really reassure me." The EU wants to finish talks on the post-transition period by the end of March so negotiations on future ties with Britain can start, but has warned that deadline could be pushed back if there is no progress from May's government is battling deep divisions between moderates and hardliners as it prepares for crucial talks with over the future relationship, which start in April. On Wednesday British Boris Johnson, who was a leading figure in the campaign to leave the EU, called for Britain to throw off EU rules and to view as an opportunity. But Borisov urged Britain to reconsider its decision to leave, comparing to a family break-up. "I truly hope the British come back to the European Union," he said. "One doesn't make the right decision every time so it's not embarrassing to change your mind." "When people divorce, sometimes they get together again because of the children or other common things they share, so when we realise and they realise that it's hard for us and hard for them maybe we will find some smart compromise." Earlier this month Lilyana Pavlova, the Bulgarian for the EU Presidency, warned May against plans to deny residency rights to Europeans arriving during the transition period. Borisov said Britain and the EU knew his country's position on the subject clearly, but said it was too early to talk of vetoing any agreement. "Veto should be the last resort, only after all attempts have been made to reach a compromise," he said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, February 15 2018. 18:05 IST