Theresa May stated her hopes are not high and admitted she is “not expecting a breakthrough” during her stay in the EU capital, but is hoping to try her test to rengetoiate her Brexit deal. The British Prime Minister is attending the summit less than 24 hours after she won the vote of no confidence in her leadership on Wednesday evening. But it seems the position of the EU is remaining firm: the EU27 will negotiate no further.
Speaking ahead of the summit today, the Prime Minister said: “My focus now is on ensuring that I can get those assurances that we need to get this deal over the line, because I genuinely believe it’s in the best interests of both sides – the UK and the EU – to get the deal over the line, to agree a deal.”
The political chaos in Britain has forced Brexit on to the agenda for the summit, despite Mrs May’s beliefs she had already secured a good enough deal for the UK.
European Council president Donald Tusk wrote in his letter to leaders of the EU member states that ”given the seriousness of the situation”, Brexit would be discussed.
And as European leaders arrived for the summit, Sweden’s prime minister Stefan Lofven said the House of Commons needs to clarify their demands regarding the Brexit vote if it’s ever going to get voted through Parliament.
Mr Lofven said: “The House of Commons has not been clear telling us exactly what they would need for them to back the deal.
“We also don’t know what the Commons demands from Theresa May.
“You cannot negotiate anything if you don’t know what the counterpart demands and as things stand now, this is the last thing the EU will take into consideration.
“It is looking very unclear at the moment.”
The prime minister, who was ousted by the Swedish Parliament after the Swedish election went into political deadlock in September, also said the Brexit deal will not be re-negotiated.
Mr Lofven said: “We are univocal on the fact that we will not re-negotiate a deal.
“But if there is anything we can clarify or rewrite that would be a possibility.
“When it comes to the backstop, the UK wants an agreement saying the current deal will not last forever. And it won’t, but we will not set a date.
“This has been widely discussed and it is something we are very clear on. So I don’t know how to clarify the deal but we will not renegotiate the backstop.
And answering a question from Swedish Dagens Nyheter on whether he thinks the vote will be voted through in the British Parliament, the ousted prime minister said that as long as the Commons continues to be unclear on the what they want changed in the Brexit deal, it will be hard to make any progress.
He said: “I don’t know if she will get the British Parliament to back her Brexit deal, and it is hard for Theresa May to come here and negotiate when the Commons are being so indistinct.
“That also makes it hard for us to know what we can do to help them. The House of Commons must be more clear on what their demands are to be able to get this deal voted through. “