BRUSSELS, Dec 14 (KUNA) -- European Union leaders were informed last night by UK Prime Minister Theresa May about the difficulties with ratifying the Brexit deal in London and asked for further assurances that would unlock the ratification process in the House of Commons.
The President of the European Council Donald Tusk speaking at a press conference late Thursday said the 27 EU leaders reconfirmed the conclusions of 25 November, in which they endorsed the Withdrawal Agreement and approved the Political Declaration.
"The Union stands by this agreement and intends to proceed with its ratification. It is not open for renegotiation," he stressed.
The EU leaders in a statement underlined that the controversial "backstop is intended as an insurance policy to prevent a hard border on the island of Ireland and ensure the integrity of the Single Market."
The statement called for work on preparedness at all levels for the "consequences of the United Kingdom's withdrawal to be intensified, taking into account all possible outcomes."
On foreign policy, Tusk said, they discussed the recent escalation in the Sea of Azov and added that there is no justification for the use of military force by Russia.
"Therefore, we request the immediate release of all detained Ukrainian seamen. Russia must not limit the freedom of navigation through the Kerch Strait," he said.
"We also discussed the ongoing preparations for the first EU-League of Arab States summit, to take place next February in Egypt," he added.
EU leaders will conclude Friday their 2-day summit after discussing issues like migration, climate change and developments in the eurozone. (end)