Juncker: Those wanting a Brexit no deal have no friends in European Commission

Catherine Neilan
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Leaders Meet In Brussels For European Council Meeting - Day Two
Juncker: Brussels not in a hostile mood (Source: Getty)

Jean-Claude Juncker has told the European Parliament that Brussels is not in "a hostile mood", insisting he does not want Brexit negotiations to result in a no deal.

The European Commission chief, who yesterday was forced to distance himself after another embarrassing leak was laid at his door, told MEPs that "no deal is not our working assumption".

"Those who seek a no deal have no friends in the European Commission," he added.

During the same session EU Council President Donald Tusk stressed the unity of the remaining 27 member states and placed the responsibility for a final agreement on the UK government's shoulders.

"We have managed to build and maintain unity among the 27, but ahead of us is still the toughest stress test," he said. "If we fail it, the negotiations will end in our defeat. We must keep our unity regardless of the direction of the talks. The EU will be able to rise to every scenario as long as we are not divided.

"It is in fact up to London how this will end: with a good deal, no deal or no Brexit. But in each of these scenarios we will protect our common interest only by being together."

But MEP Syed Kamall warned Brussels was in danger of allowing "idealism to get the better of pragmatism".

"I hope we avoid becoming trapped by sequencing of negotiations," he said. "To make real progress, we need to take a step back."

He urged Brussels to understand "where the British people are coming from".

"On both migration and the UK negotiations we may find that while idealism might be a wonderful way to view the world, and sequencing might seem logical, it will be pragmatism that delivers the solutions we all want to see."

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