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The European Commission on Monday said it was still the EU’s assumption that Britain would leave the bloc as planned on March 29.

Commission spokeswoman Mina Andreeva said Britain’s Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay and Advocate General Geoffrey Cox will hold talks in Brussels on Tuesday with the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier.

She said Commission head, Jean-Claude Juncker, had a “constructive meeting” with British Prime Minister Theresa May in Egypt on Monday, adding that “good progress was being made” on three tracks:

  • upgrading the EU-UK political declaration on their future ties after Brexit;
  • focusing more on what role “alternative arrangements” to the so-called Irish backstop could play in the future;
  • looking at “possible additional guarantees” for Britain on the backstop, which is vehemently contested in the UK.

“They agreed on the need to conclude this work in time before the European Council of the 21th of March,” Andreeva said.


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