February 6, 2019 / 4:15 PM / 8 months ago

Juncker says EU won't reopen Brexit deal, Britain's May knows that

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker attends weekly College of Commissioners meeting in Brussels, Belgium, Februray 6, 2019. REUTERS/Yves Herman

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Wednesday he would tell British Prime Minister Theresa May when she travels to Brussels on Thursday that the EU’s stalled withdrawal agreement with Britain cannot be renegotiated.

“Brexit is not a bilateral question between the Republic of Ireland and the UK,” Juncker told a joint news conference with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar.

“It’s a European issue and that’s why we cannot accept the idea that the withdrawal agreement could be reopened. The backstop is part of the withdrawal agreement and we cannot reopen the discussion on the backstop,” he said.

“She knows that the Commission is not prepared to reopen the issue,” he said.

Reporting by Alastair Macdonald, Gabriela Baczynska, Jan Strupczewski

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