December 4, 2017 / 4:14 PM / a year ago

EU's Juncker says Brexit no deal is not a failure

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May is welcomed by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker at the EC headquarters in Brussels, Belgium December 4, 2017. REUTERS/Yves Herman

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Theresa May is a tough counterpart in Brexit talks, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said, adding that the lack of an agreement on Monday “is not a failure”.

Despite significant progress during May’s visit to Brussels, Juncker said that two or three open issues remained.

“We had a frankly constructive meeting ... She is a tough negotiator, and not an easy one. She is defending the point of view of Britain with all the energy we know she has,” Juncker told reporters.

“Despite our best efforts and the significant progress we and our teams have made over the past days on the remaining issues, it was not possible to reach a complete agreement.”

The head of the EU executive added that he was still confident that a deal could be reached before a summit of EU member states next week.

Reporting by Alissa de Carbonnel @AdeCar and Gabriela Baczynska, editing by Julia Fioretti

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