Juncker Again Talks Down May Hours Before Key Brexit Meeting

Juncker May
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BERLIN (AP) — The chief of the European Union’s executive arm says he isn’t enjoying the “demolition” work of Brexit.

Asked if he derives more fun from Brexit talks with British Prime Minister Theresa May or trade talks with U.S. President Donald Trump, European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker said: “Neither of them.”

Juncker is due to meet May on Wednesday for the latest attempt at a breakthrough in talks on Britain’s exit from the European Union.

Juncker told reporters in Stuttgart, Germany on Tuesday: “I fully respect Mrs. May, but I have no pleasure in these talks because I went to Brussels in 2014 to build something. Now I am busy with demolition. That was not my intention.”

He added: “I am having to concern myself with something that is not a project for the future.”


5:30 p.m.

EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker says there are not enough signs of progress on Brexit to expect his meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday will be productive.

May is seeking an elusive breakthrough in discussions with the European Union to win support from lawmakers who oppose the withdrawal agreement her government and the EU reached.

But the EU is adamant the other 27 member countries won’t reopen the already negotiated divorce deal. Britain is set to leave the EU on March 29, a little more than a month.

Juncker told reporters in the German city of Stuttgart on Tuesday: “I am meeting Mrs. May tomorrow evening, and there is not enough movement for me to be able to assume that it will be a productive discussion.”

He added: “I don’t know what Mrs. May will tell me tomorrow.”


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