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[Published: Tuesday October 16 2018]

 'No optimism' for Brexit deal, says Donald Tusk

BRUSSELS 16 Oct  (ANA) - Donald Tusk has poured cold water on hopes of a Brexit breakthrough at Wednesday's EU summit, saying the Irish border was still a sticking point.

The European Council president said he had "no grounds for optimism" it would be solved at the summit.

And he called on Theresa May to come up with "concrete proposals" to break the "impasse".

The prime minister told her cabinet a deal was within reach if the government "stand together and stand firm".

Speaking at a press conference in Brussels, Mr Tusk said: "As I see it, the only source of hope for a deal for now is the goodwill and determination on both sides.

"However, for a breakthrough to take place besides goodwill we need new facts.

"Tomorrow (Wednesday), I am going to ask Prime Minister May whether she has concrete proposals on how to break the impasse."

He urged Mrs May to present "something creative enough" to break the deadlock.

He said EU leaders would discuss how to step-up preparations for a "no-deal scenario", but stressed that did not mean they were not also making "every effort to reach the best agreement possible for all sides".

Both sides in Brexit talks are hoping that a deal on the UK's withdrawal from the EU, including the Irish border question, will be agreed by mid-November in time for it to be ratified by EU members and for MPs at Westminster to vote on it.(ANA)
FA/ANA/16 October 2018-----

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