MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The European Union and the United Kingdom have failed to reach an agreement on the Brexit talks, however, the European Commission is ready to continue negotiations this week, EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has announced.
"Despite our best efforts and the significant progress we and our teams have made in the past days on the remaining withdrawal issues, it was not possible to reach a complete agreement today," Juncker said at a joint press conference with UK Prime Minister Theresa May.
According to Juncker, Theresa May is a tough counterpart in the Brexit talks and despite the significant progress made during the prime minister's visit to Brussels, two or three open issues remain.
UK Prime Minister Theresa May, in her turn, said that despite today's failure to achieve an agreement, "We will reconvene before the end of the week and I am also confident that we will conclude this positively."
Earlier in the day, May arrived in the Belgian capital of Brussels to meet with EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, the commission's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier and Tusk for a final round of negotiations within the first phase of the Brexit talks.
May is expected to present London's final proposals on its border with Ireland, divorce bill and citizens' rights, before EU leaders gather on December 15 and decide whether to proceed to the second phase of the Brexit talks.
At the same time, European Council President Donald Tusk said he was "encouraged" by his talks with the Irish prime minister on progress regarding Ireland-related Brexit issues, adding that the Brexit talks were getting closer to entering their second stage.
Brexit negotiations between the United Kingdom and the European Union officially kicked off on June 19 and are due to be completed by the end of March 2019.