Written by Reuters
18 Oct, 2018 | 11:00 pm
Reuters – Time is running short for reaching an agreement on Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday (October 18) after a Brussels summit of the bloc’s remaining leaders, adding that a deal should still be achievable.
At a post-summit news conference, she added that the 27 leaders had agreed to reassemble to assess progress as soon as sufficient progress had been made in talks, including on sticking points such as the status of the border in Ireland.
She added that she was no more or less optimistic following the summit than before.
“Where there is a will there should be a way,” she told reporters, saying that EU leaders were ready to meet at any moment should progress towards a deal be evident.
Merkel said that countries were preparing for a worst case scenario but that the focus remained on finding a deal.
Merkel also said on Thursday that the leaders of European Union countries had agreed to move forward with the banking union and a deposit guarantee.
After all 28 leaders discussed migration, Merkel said a plan being touted by Austrian Chancellor Kurz, while Austria holds the bloc’s presidency, to offer a “mandatory solidarity”, was not realistic.
The proposal is that EU states could accept refugees and migrants, provide experts or equipment for the bloc’s external borders or make other contributions.
The plan does not require all member states to host new arrivals. The EU’s ex-communist eastern members oppose hosting these people – just one issue that has damaged the bloc’s unity.
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