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EU's Juncker 'quite confident' of British deal

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European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker said he was confident EU leaders would reach a deal on reforms to keep Britain in the bloc at a crucial summit starting on Thursday.

[BRUSSELS] European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker said he was confident EU leaders would reach a deal on reforms to keep Britain in the bloc at a crucial summit starting on Thursday.

"I'm quite confident that we will have a deal during this European Council. We have to sort out a certain number of questions," Juncker told a news conference with European Parliament President Martin Schulz.

"And I am convinced that Britain will be constructive and active member of the European Union," he said, speaking in English.

Switching to German, Juncker said: "It's not done yet, but it will be done at the end of the day", then added that there is still "a big need to talk".

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Both Juncker and Schulz held talks with British Prime Minister David Cameron earlier this week on his demands for reforms to the union in the run-up to the crunch two-day meeting of all 28 EU leaders.

Juncker's commission, the powerful executive arm of the EU, has been heavily involved in finding legal solutions for a British deal while the European Parliament will need to formally approve parts of any accord.

"We have a great deal of interest in ensuring Britain remains in the European Union, we will work constructively to ensure that what is agreed is put into legislative form in the EU," Schulz said.

AFP

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