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Britain and EU agree to hold further Brexit talks

AFP  |  Brussels 

and agreed Thursday to hold further talks on Britain's withdrawal from the bloc, after what they described as a "robust" meeting.

EU will meet Britain's on Monday in and May and themselves will get back together before the end of February, a said.

In a joint statement issued after May met at in Brussels, the pair confirmed that the had warned the British that the withdrawal cannot be renegotiated.

But he "expressed his openness to add wording" to a parallel political declaration laying out ambitions for future EU-UK ties if wants to seek a "more ambitious" closer relationship after

May, however, urged that the withdrawal agreement itself be changed, and reminded Juncker that the had mandated her to seek "a legally binding change to the terms of the backstop".

This is a clause in the withdrawal agreement, signed last November, that would keep Britain in the EU customs union even after a post-Brexit transition period if no way is found to keep the Irish border open.

"The discussion was robust but constructive," the joint statement said.

"Despite the challenges, 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 and respect the guidelines agreed by the "

If no agreement is reached on the withdrawal deal, which has yet to be approved by either the British or EU parliaments, Britain will crash out of the union with no follow-on trade arrangements on March 29.

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

First Published: Thu, February 07 2019. 18:20 IST