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EU, Britain on tightrope toward possible Brexit deal

/ 06:44 PM September 20, 2018

British Prime Minister Theresa May smiles when arriving at the informal EU summit in Salzburg, Austria on Sept. 20, 2018. AP

SALZBURG, Austria — The European Union and Britain are walking a diplomatic tightrope as they attempt to thrash out a divorce deal in time for Britain’s departure from the bloc next March.

Arriving Thursday at a summit of EU leaders in the Austrian city of Salzburg, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte labeled the Brexit negotiations “a balancing act.”

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Even though both sides remain far apart on shape of their future economic relationship and on the border between Ireland and the UK’s Northern Ireland, no one sought confrontation.

British Prime Minister Theresa May urged flexibility when addressing EU leaders at a dinner Thursday.

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EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said May was “interesting” and “polite.”

Both sides have said they want a deal this autumn to allow parliaments to give their approvals in time. /ee

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