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Highlights - Comments of EU leaders at summit in Brussels on Friday
October 19, 2017 / 12:14 PM / a month ago

Highlights - Comments of EU leaders at summit in Brussels on Friday

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union leaders meet on Friday in Brussels to their response to British Prime Minister Theresa May’s appeal to break the deadlock in Brexit negotiations.

Flags of EU members are seen in the atrium of the European Council ahead of a two-day EU leaders summit in Brussels, Belgium October 18, 2017. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

Below are comments made by the leaders on arrival:

MALTESE PRIME MINISTER JOSEPH MUSCAT

“I think it was quite a constructive speech that she delivered. She made her case in a very eloquent manner. But I think it has not really changed anything from before that. I think today’s assessment will be a fair assessment. It will show we want to be constructive about what will happen next. I do not think it will contain the language that shows that there has been sufficient progress.”

“To be honest I think it was her best performance yet, in the sense that it conveyed a warm, candid and sincere appeal that she wants progress to be made, that she has moved her position. I think that was appreciated. Obviously there are the problems we all know. I think the wording of today’s conclusions will show there is willingness from the EU’s side to move forward.”

AUSTRIAN CHANCELLOR CHRISTIAN KERN

“It is important that the process is well organised at an EU level. Mr Barnier does an excellent job and all countries support him loyally. You have to say that what happens in Britain has its ups and downs, which will be observed with increasing unease as time goes by. The whole process is not advantageous for Europe’s economy as a whole, there is no doubt about that.”

“There is at least rhetorical progress but unfortunately we need to come to tangible conclusions because uncertainty is not good for the continent and is not good for our economies and so it is up to the British government to propose something that is the basis for further progress which is very important.”

Compiled by Robert-Jan Bartunek, Alissa de Carbonnel, Philip Blenkinsop

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