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10 July 2019

The Guardian: Ursula von der Leyen signals she will not reopen Brexit talks

Ursula von der Leyen, the nominee to lead the European commission, has signalled she will not reopen Brexit talks with the next British prime minister and stressed the “precious” Irish backstop must be defended.

She said she still hoped the UK would remain in the European Union, while indicating she had no intention to renegotiate the withdrawal deal agreed by Theresa May and EU leaders.

“I think it’s a good deal, but it is your responsibility and your noble task to sort this out,” she told a British Liberal Democrat MEP in the European parliament, in her first public comments on Brexit.

In a thinly veiled message to the Tory leadership candidates Jeremy Hunt and Boris Johnson, Von der Leyen said the tone and attitude with which Brexit happens were crucial, adding: “Brexit is not the end of something, Brexit is the beginning of future relations and it’s of absolute importance that we have good cooperation.”

She also made it clear she opposed attempts by both men to reopen discussions on the backstop, the fallback plan to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland.





“I think the backstop is of utmost importance and we absolutely know how crucial this nonexistent border is for you,” she said in response to an Irish MEP. “Having the backstop in the Brexit deal is precious, important and has to be defended.” [...]

Full article on The Guardian

Related article on The Guardian: Germany says it will stand in 'full solidarity' with Ireland over Brexit

© The Guardian

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