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Monday, 18 November 2019

EU leaders meet at summit dominated by Brexit

Reuters , Thursday 17 Oct 2019
EU Summit
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson, European Union's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, Britain's Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay meet after agreeing on the Brexit deal, at the sidelines of the European Union leaders summit, in Brussels, Belgium October 17, 2019. (Reuters)
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EU leaders met for a two-day summit on Thursday and Friday, dominated by Brexit but also with other pressing issues including Turkey's invasion of Syria, possible enlargement and the bloc's budget.

The following are comments from the leaders and senior EU officials on their arrival.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel

"Certainly the news of the day is the successful closing of an agreement between the British government and the European Commission. We are looking at this and will form our opinion, but we already know parts of this deal and to the extent that we know it, it is good news."

"The fact that the Irish prime minister is rather happy here is a very important sign."

UK PM Boris Johnson

"I do think this deal represents a very good deal both for the EU and the UK. It is a reasonable, fair outcome."

"We can deliver a real Brexit that achieves our objectives. And it means the UK leaves whole and entire on Oct.31."

"I hope very much now... that my fellow MPs in Westminster do come now together to get... this deal over the line."

"Now is the moment for us to get Brexit done and to work together on our common future."

"There is no case for delay."

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker

"This deal means there is no need for any kind of prolongation."

"I'm happy about the deal but I am said about Brexit."

Luxembourg PM Xavier Bettel

"It's for everyone much better if we agree."

"I always wanted a deal."

Estonia PM Juri Ratas

"Brexit is still 100 times more better than without a deal.

Latvia PM Krisjanis Karins

"We want to have a deal with the UK because after Brexit we want a good relationship with the UK."

"It certainly looks very promising."

Sweden PM Stefan Lofven

"We have always supported an orderly exit."

"We will continue the process with this deal."

"We want to take the deal further so that the British parliament can decide on it."

European Council President Donald Tusk

"A deal is always better than a no-deal."

French President Emmanuel Macron

"We have good news this morning."

"The deal now needs to be technically explained, politically presented. It will be done in the coming hours. As far as I'm concerned, I am satisfied we managed to find it and reasonably confident it can be ratified by the British and European parliament."

Belgium PM Charles Michel

"It is a step in the right direction, but I remain cautious. That's in my character, my temperament, because I know from experience that the devil is often in the detail. ...now it is necessary that the British parliament provides its approval."

"I am happy but I am also cautious because we will see if this can be accepted by the House of Commons."

"It's a postive moment in my opinion."

Dutch PM Mark Rutte

"Well, (it's) very encouraging news that there is an agreement, now we have to study the details. But in itself very encouraging."

Finnish PM Antti Rinne

"The ball again is in the British Parliament('s court) ... I hope it goes through this time."

"I hope we are now at the end of this process. But there are still many doubts - for instance, inside the British parliament."

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