07:19 GMT25 February 2020
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    Earlier, EU leaders ruled out further Brexit talks, with the European Council insisting that Brussels' current deal with London on the UK's withdrawal from the bloc remains the "best and only way" for an orderly Brexit.

    In an article published by The Telegraph on Sunday, UK Prime Minister Theresa May signalled her readiness to return to negotiations with Brussels to "battle for Britain and Northern Ireland".

    "I will be armed with a fresh mandate, new ideas and a renewed determination to agree a pragmatic solution that delivers the Brexit the British people voted for, while ensuring there is no hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland," she stressed.

    READ MORE: Chances of Hard Brexit Grow Amid EU's Reluctance to Change Divorce Deal

    May expressed hope that "the right way forward" will finally be found despite the fact that "the clock is ticking" and that "negotiating the changes MPs want to see will not be easy".

    "I'm determined to deliver Brexit, and determined to deliver on time — on 29 March 2019. So let's put aside our differences and focus on getting the deal over the line. Brexit offers great opportunities for our country. It's up to all of us at Westminster to make it work," she said. 

    May's remarks came as Downing Street denied media reports of UK Prime Minister Theresa May's team wanting to secure the backing of parliament for a new Brexit deal in April before calling a general election in June as "completely untrue".

    READ MORE: EU Opposes UK's Brexit Deal Revision Despite Theresa May's Readiness for Talks

    The Daily Mail quoted sources as saying that the plan aims to protect May from being ousted by MPs who want negotiations on Brexit's second stage related to a new trade deal.

    May is due to report back to parliament on her negotiations with the EU on 13 February, a few weeks after she secured MPs' support to go back to Brussels. The goal is to hammer out a new agreement that doesn't include an Irish border backstop, the mechanism to ensure that there will be no hard border between the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland if the sides failed to agree on all the terms of their relationship by the end of the Brexit transition period.

    READ MORE: Almost Third of UK-Based Firms Ready for Relocation Abroad Amid Brexit — Poll

    The backstop specifically stipulates that the UK and the EU would form a single customs territory, which would ensure tariff-free trade. 

    Earlier, the European Council described the current EU-UK deal as the "best and only way" for an orderly Brexit. French President Emmanuel Macron, in turn, said that the agreement "is the best accord possible", adding that it is "not re-negotiable".


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