Don't Blame Theresa May, EU's Juncker Jokes of Face Wound

Britain is due to abruptly leave the EU and all of its institutions on March 29 unless it agrees to the Brexit deal secured by Theresa May

At Thursday's meeting, sources say Mr Barnier had never seemed so "agitated" about the danger of no-deal, so concerned that that prime minister is "reluctant to pivot" away from her own red lines.

Legal assurances that the backstop is temporary would address a key concern of many Brexit-supporting members of her party who fear it could lock Britain into European Union rules indefinitely.

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.

The post, which refers to comments she made just before the EU referendum vote, reads: "I believe it is clearly in our national interest to remain a member of the European Union".

"If you are asking for how long the withdrawal can be postponed, I have no time frame in mind".

The Labour leader, who is addressing the EEF employers' group manufacturing conference, said he would be travelling to Brussels later this week to discuss the proposal with Mr Barnier.

"We can not accept a time limit to the backstop or a unilateral exit clause", Juncker's spokesman Margaritis Schinas told reporters on Tuesday.

"Any decision to ask for more time lies with the UK".

May and the other 27 European Union leaders approved a Brexit withdrawal agreement at a summit on 25 November previous year, but the British leader's own parliament rejected it on 15 January. "I'm losing my time with this Brexit", he said.

European Commission president Mr Juncker said he could not rule out an extension to the Article 50 process resulting in the United Kingdom participating in the European Parliament vote.

British opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn said on Thursday Prime Minister Theresa May must change her strategy and seek a close alliance with the European Union after Brexit to avert the unsafe prospect of an abrupt split. 'I've underlined the need for us to see legally binding changes to the backstop which ensure it can not be indefinite - that's what is required if a deal is going to pass the House of Commons.

Both sides have been seeking to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland, expressing concerns that it may shatter the hard-won peace in the region.

"The risk of leaving without a deal has increased", he added.

"We have agreed that work to find a solution will continue at pace".

Objections from the pro-Brexit wing of her Conservative Party centered on the so-called Irish backstop, which seeks to guarantee no hard border in Ireland after the split.

May will have a further chance to lobby EU leaders at the weekend in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh during an EU-Arab League summit focused on migration, trade and security.

Brexit minister Steve Barclay was in Brussels on Thursday for more talks along with the Attorney General Geoffrey Cox.

"There may be an opportunity to bring a vote back to the House of Commons", he told the BBC.

Jean-Claude Juncker cut himself shaving on Wednesday - hardly news, even in the hothouse Brussels' EU political bubble.

Business Secretary Greg Clark said the United Kingdom isn't likely to reach agreements with Japan and South Korea to roll over existing trade deals before Britain's scheduled departure from the European Union on March 29.

He played down the idea of the EU reopening the current withdrawal treaty, saying: 'The EU's position is that the treaty won't be reopened but can be interpreted or complemented with explanations that may be satisfactory'.

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