All 27 members of the European Union (EU) have approved a deal to end the UK’s membership in the bloc, warning that renegotiation was not an option even if the British parliament rejects it.
Addressing a summit in Brussels to formally adopt the Brexit treaty, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker hailed the deal, a product of difficult negotiations for nearly two years, as “the best possible” agreement both sides could get and made it clear that the EU was not going to change its “fundamental position” in the future.
“To see a country like Great Britain… leave the EU is not a moment of joy nor of celebration, it’s a sad moment and it’s a tragedy,” he said, calling it a “sad day” in the EU’s history.
EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier said earlier, however, that the partnership was not over.
“This deal is a necessary step to build trust between the UK and the EU, we need to build in the next phase of this…