Germany sees no scope to change Brexit deal, says EU Affairs Minister Roth

Germany's EU Affairs Minister Michael Roth described talk of reworking the deal as a "fantasy".
Germany's EU Affairs Minister Michael Roth described talk of reworking the deal as a "fantasy".PHOTO: EPA-EFE

BRUSSELS (REUTERS) - There is no scope to renegotiate the agreement on Britain's withdrawal from the European Union as the existing deal was difficult enough to reach, Germany's EU Affairs Minister Michael Roth said on Tuesday (Dec 11).

He described talk of reworking the deal as a "fantasy".

British Prime Minister Theresa May is on a tour of European capitals, visiting the Netherlands, Germany and Brussels to seek clarifications on the part of the deal that concerns avoiding a physical border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

"Sometimes, I don't understand the world anymore," Mr Roth said on entering a meeting of European ministers in Brussels to prepare for a summit that starts on Thursday.

"We spent so much time, energy and creativity to negotiate something we in Berlin and Brussels don't want. Nobody wants the UK to leave."

Asked if Britain's withdrawal agreement could be still be changed, Mr Roth said: "I cannot imagine where we could change something substantial in the withdrawal agreement. We cannot restart the talks because it was already difficult enough among the EU 27 and UK to agree on this deal."