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No breakthrough in Brexit talks over Irish backstop

Theresa May and Jean-Claude Juncker share a joke ahead of Brexit talks
Theresa May and Jean-Claude Juncker share a joke ahead of Brexit talks
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No breakthrough has been achieved in Brexit talks between Theresa May and EU chief Jean-Claude Juncker.

The UK's prime minister was back in Brussels on Wednesday hoping to win concessions over the Irish backstop.

May and Juncker said the discussions had been constructive and that the two leaders would talk again before the end of the month.

British MPs have voted for May to return to Brussels and negotiate alternatives to the backstop, an insurance policy in the Brexit deal designed to prevent the return of a hard border between Northern Ireland and its southern neighbour.

EU Commission President Juncker told reporters earlier on Wednesday that he wasn't expecting a breakthrough in the talks.

The UK is set to leave the EU on March 29, with or without a deal.

May has negotiated an agreement with Brussels but has so far been unable to get a majority of British MPs to support it.

It comes on the day three MPs from May's Conservative Party defected to a burgeoning breakaway group.