Lack of assurances on backstop and customs union led to impasse

If they want to leave, they should do it now, Jean-Claude Juncker fumed, to the emphatic agreement of the then European parliament president, Martin Schulz.

It was 24 June 2016, and hours earlier, the British people had decided to leave the EU. The two men were holed up in an emergency meeting in the European commission president’s office in Brussels along with Donald Tusk, Juncker’s counterpart in the European council.

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