LONDON – The president of the European Council arrived in London on Thursday to meet with the United Kingdom’s prime minister amid tensions in the Brexit negotiations sparked by divergent approaches to the future of the Irish border.
Donald Tusk met Theresa May, a conservative, at the prime minister’s official Downing Street residence just hours after he gave a speech in Brussels defending a European Union proposal to keep the UK territory of Northern Ireland in the customs union to ensure a frictionless border with its southern neighbor, the Republic of Ireland, which is an EU member state.
“Meeting with PM Theresa May in London before I next week will present draft EU27 guidelines for our future relationship,” the Council chief tweeted.
The suggestion riled Brexit supporters in May’s cabinet, who deemed it a bid by the EU to annex the territory, and the prime minister herself dismissed it in parliament on Wednesday.
Tusk said it was so far the best plan of action on the table, but added he would welcome any counter-proposals from the UK.