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    Antonio Tajani acknowledges applauses after being elected European Parliament President at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, in Strasbourg, eastern France, Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017

    EU Parliament Might Vote Against Brexit Deal If Irish Border Issue Not Settled

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    BRUSSELS (Sputnik) – The European Parliament (EP) might vote against the draft agreement on Brexit, if no positive solution to the Irish border issue is found during the negotiations, President of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani said Wednesday.

    "The EP absolutely wants to reach an agreement. But this deal should not be concluded at any cost. If we do not see a positive solution found for the [Irish border issue] — there were some positive signals for the [issues of EU citizens in the United Kingdom and UK financial commitments] — then we will vote against the draft agreement," Tajani told reporters.

    He also stressed that 3 million EU citizens in the United Kingdom should be protected, London must fulfill all its financial commitments, and the Irish border matter should be resolved.

    Regarding UK Prime Minister Theresa May's address to EU leaders that took place earlier on Wednesday, the EU Parliament president noted the absence of new proposals on Brexit.

    "I want to be optimistic. The political message of Mrs May is a positive one, [saying that they] want to achieve an agreement. On the content — no news. But the body language was more positive than in the past," Tajani said.

    Tajani also noted that he did not consider it possible to postpone the date of Brexit, which is scheduled for March 29, 2019.

    EU leaders gathered for a two-day summit on Wednesday to discuss a number of pressing issues, including stalled Brexit talks, migration issue, the economy, as well as traditional and new security challenges.

    READ MORE: UK Trade Secretary Says Britain Will Need Longer Post-Brexit Transition Period

    The issue of Northern Ireland remains a thorny issue in Brexit talks. The main challenge for London is to avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and, at the same time, secure the nation's integrity.

    Previously, the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. Although Brexit is scheduled for late March 2019, London and Brussels still cannot agree on a number of key issues.

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    borders, issue, draft, agreement, Brexit, Antonio Tajani, EU, United Kingdom, Ireland
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