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Brexit envoy insists EU united as UK's May seeks concessions

By The News · 30 of January 2019 08:53:08
European Parliament Brexit coordinator Guy Verhofstadt, left, and European Union chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier talk at the start of a Brexit Steering Group meeting at the European Parliament in Brussels on Wednesday Jan. 30, 2019. British Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday won a few weeks to salvage a Brexit deal but headed toward a clash with the European Union by promising to overhaul the divorce agreement she spent a year and a half negotiating with the bloc. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert), No available, European Parliament Brexit coordinator Guy Verhofstadt, left, and European Union chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier talk at the start of a Brexit Steering Group meeting at the European Parliament in Brussels on Wednesday Jan. 30, 2019. British Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday won a few weeks to salvage a Brexit deal but headed toward a clash with the European Union by promising to overhaul the divorce agreement she spent a year and a half negotiating with the bloc. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union’s Brexit negotiator says the EU stands united in defense of its divorce deal with Britain, after Prime Minister Theresa won a parliamentary mandate to reopen the agreement.

Michel Barnier said Wednesday that “the EU institutions remain united, and we stand by the agreement that we have negotiated with the U.K., never against the U.K.”

Barnier made his brief remarks after he met top European Parliament officials to discuss the Brexit votes in the British Parliament late Tuesday.

Britain is set to leave the EU in less than two months, but the main sticking point in London to sealing a Brexit agreement is the so-called “backstop.”

It’s aimed at ensuring that no time-consuming customs checks happen on the Irish border after Britain leaves, until a better arrangement is found.