03:41 GMT +317 December 2017
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    Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May is welcomed by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker at the EC headquarters in Brussels, Belgium December 8, 2017

    EU Commission President Believes 'Breakthrough' Achieved in Brexit Talks

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    Theresa May arrived in Brussels to meet with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Commission's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier for a final round of negotiations within the first phase of Brexit talks.

    BRUSSELS (Sputnik) — "I believe we made the breakthrough we needed," Juncker said after meeting with UK Prime Minister Theresa May.

    The European Commission president noted that progress was reached also in terms of the divorce bill and the EU institution was ready for the second phase of Brexit talks.

    He added that May told him that the new text had the backing of the UK government.

    "I very much welcome the prospect of moving ahead to the next phase to talk about trade and security and to discuss the positive and ambitious future relationship that is in all of our interests," May said at a press conference in Brussels.

    Theresa May said that she was confident that there would be no hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland after London's withdrawal from the bloc.

    READ MORE: Brexit Deal Drama: 'DUP Enjoy Holding Knife to May's Throat, Fear Corbyn Gov't'

    The United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union will not result in a hard border between Ireland and the UK region of Northern Ireland, Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney confirmed.

    It is expected that the text of the agreement between the EU and Great Britain, which will be signed by 27 EU leaders next week, will be published later today.

    London and the EU had to agree on the basic terms of Brexit, including the question of borders, Britain's financial payments to its European partners and the rights of EU citizens in Britain after Brexit, before the EU summit on December 14-15.

    Tusk Says UK, EU Should Start Negotiating Brexit Transition Period

    "First, we should start negotiating the transition period so that people and businesses had clarity about the situation," Tusk said, commenting on his proposals for the December EU summit.

    Brussels is ready to develop close partnership with London in such areas as trade, fight against terrorism and international crime as well as security, defense and foreign policy, the European Council president added.

    Related:

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    Brexit Talks Can't Go Ahead if UK Gov't Doesn't Agree on Deal in 48 Hours - EU
    That Skeptic Isle: Brits Still Divided on Brexit, but Most Expect It to Go Badly
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