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EU again rules out reworking Brexit deal

Brussels

THE European Commission repeated on Monday that EU leaders would not renegotiate a Brexit treaty agreed last month with Prime Minister Theresa May and was pressing on with planning for Britain to crash out of the Union without a deal.

"The deal that is on the table is the best and the only deal possible," chief spokesman Margaritis Schinas told reporters when asked about a phone conversation on Friday between Mrs May and Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker. "This deal will not be renegotiated."

He also repeated that there were no talks planned between negotiators from the two sides as "negotiations are complete". Mr Schinas repeated that Mr Juncker's conversation with Mrs May on Friday was "friendly" and that the two would speak again this week.

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Mrs May has failed to win parliamentary support for the treaty she agreed with fellow leaders of the European Union last month and is expected to put it to a vote next week. At a summit on Dec 14, she urged EU leaders to modify some terms but they insisted they would not reopen the agreement.

Prime Minister Theresa May is still working on obtaining assurances from the European Union which British lawmakers have said they need before they could vote for her Brexit deal, her spokesman said on Monday.

Meanwhile, British citizens will not need to leave Germany if their country leaves the European Union without an exit deal, an interior ministry spokesman said.

British citizens will retain their residence rights for a three-month period, with further extensions possible, the spokesman said, adding that during that time, they would have to register to acquire a formal right to remain. A transport ministry spokeswoman said Germany was in close contact with Britain with a view to avoiding disruption to air transport links in the case of a disordered Brexit. REUTERS