Prime Minister Theresa May today held a positive and constructive meeting with European Council President Donald Tusk in Downing Street.
The two leaders discussed the significant progress that has been made in the Brexit negotiations so far, and looked forward to the European Council in March.
The PM said good progress had been made in reaching agreement on an implementation period and that further discussions would take place between UK and EU officials next week.
The PM was clear that the UK is fully committed to turning the Joint Report agreed in December into legal text as soon as possible. In particular the government remains steadfast in its commitment to avoiding a hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland.
However, the PM said that the draft text put forward by the European Commission yesterday was unacceptable to the UK as it would, if implemented, undermine the UK common market and constitutional integrity of the UK. The PM reiterated that both she and the Taoiseach have said that their priority is to resolve the border question through the overall relationship between the UK and the EU.
The Prime Minister briefed the President on the speech she will deliver tomorrow on the ambitious economic partnership that she hopes to agree with the European Union. This will sit alongside the deep security partnership that she argued for in her Munich speech last month.
The PM said that she hoped that European leaders would engage with this thinking constructively.