October 24, 2018 / 7:30 AM / a year ago

EU ready to call Brexit summit when 'decisive progress' made - Tusk

FILE PHOTO: European Council President Donald Tusk and Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May talk as they arrive for a group photo at the ASEM leaders summit in Brussels, Belgium October 19, 2018. REUTERS/Yves Herman

STRASBOURG (Reuters) - European Council President Donald Tusk told the European Parliament on Wednesday that he would be ready to call a special summit on Brexit whenever negotiators said “decisive progress” had been made toward a deal.

Briefing lawmakers on last week’s regular summit, Tusk recalled that EU leaders had agreed that they would meet again to endorse a deal if their negotiator Michel Barnier judged that enough progress toward a deal had been made. A meeting pencilled in for Nov. 17-18 is still on hold.

“I stand ready to convene a European Council, if and when the Union negotiator reports that decisive progress has been made,” Tusk said. “The Brexit talks continue with the aim of reaching a deal,” he added, saying no one wanted talks to fail.

He repeated that he believed leaders would extend Britain’s status-quo transition period after Brexit in March if London asked for that — an issue May raised at the summit.

“It was made clear by the UK that more time is needed to find a precise solution,” Tusk said. “Therefore, there is no other way but to continue the talks. Leaders expressed their full trust and support for Michel Barnier.”

Reporting by Alastair Macdonald in Brussels; Editing by Toby Chopra

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