European Union president confident on Brexit deal this week despite stalemate

- European Union president confident on Brexit deal this week despite stalemate.

- Both Juncker and May believe a deal will be signed this week.

- Both sides have a common understanding on relevant issues.
President Jean-Claude Juncker of the European Union has expressed his confidence over the Union's ability to strike a deal with Britain this weak despite the failure of both sides to reach an agreement on Monday.

Juncker indicated that discussions are set to continue later this week where British Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to be present.

He went on: ‘I have to say that she's a tough negotiator, and not an easy one, and she's defending the point of view of Britain with all the energy we know she has, and this is the same on the side of the European Union. 

‘Despite our best efforts and significant progress we and our teams have made over the past days on the three main withdrawal issues, it was not possible to reach a complete agreement today.

‘We now have a common understanding on most relevant issues, with just two or three open for discussion. 

‘These will require further consultation, further negotiation and further discussions. 

‘We stand ready to resume the negotiations with the United Kingdom here in Brussels later this week.

‘But I have to say that we were narrowing our positions to a huge extent today, thanks to the British Prime Minister, thanks to the willingness of the European Commission to have a fair deal with Britain. 

‘I'm still confident that we can reach sufficient progress before the European Council of December 15.

‘This is not a failure, this is the start of the very last round. I'm very confident that we will reach an agreement in the course of this week.' 

Meanwhile, Mrs May said: ‘We have had a constructive meeting today. Both sides have been working hard in good faith. 

‘We have been negotiating hard. And a lot of progress has been made. And on many of the issues there is a common understanding.

‘And it is clear, crucially, that we want to move forward together. But on a couple of issues some differences do remain which require further negotiation and consultation. 

‘And those will continue, but we will reconvene before the end of the week and I am also confident that we will conclude this positively.'

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