British Prime Minister Theresa May on Friday called for “give and take” in negotiations with the European Union (EU) on the UK’s exit from the 28-nation economic bloc.
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During her first EU summit since she became PM following the Brexit vote and on her 100th day in office, May held meetings with her EU colleagues including European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.
“I recognise the scale of the challenge ahead, I am sure there will be difficult moments, it [Brexit] will require some give and take,” she told reporters.
“But I firmly believe that if we approach this in a constructive spirit, as I am, then we can deliver a smooth departure and build a powerful new relationship that works both for the UK and for the countries of the EU, looking for opportunities, not problems,” she said.
May said she aimed to “cement Britain as a close partner of the EU once we have left”, with the country able to control its immigration but trade freely with the EU and would seek a “mature cooperative relationship” with the EU.
“The UK will continue to face similar challenges to our European neighbours, we will continue to share the same values, so I want a mature, cooperative relationship with our European partners,” she said.
She had arrived for the two-day summit on Thursday, stressing that the UK was leaving the EU but would “continue to play a full role” until then and be a “strong and dependable” partner after that.
She was given a few minutes at the end of a working dinner on Thursday to talk about the latest Brexit news, which was reportedly met with silence from other EU leaders.