Anti-Brexit protester jumps in front of Theresa May’s motorcade on her way to EU talks




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An anti-Brexit protester jumped in front of the vehicle of British Prime Minister Theresa May as she was arriving at European Union headquarters in Brussels for crunch talks.

The man, identified as Mark Johnston, a known pro-E.U. activist, can be seen in footage holding a sign “don’t crash out” – in reference to a potential no-deal Brexit – and then jumping in the front of the motorcade.

Security promptly removed the activist from the street. No injuries were caused as a result of the stunt.

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The stunt came ahead of May’s meeting with E.U. leaders in a bid to amend the withdrawal agreement she clinched last year but was ultimately rejected by Parliament, raising the likelihood of Britain leaving the E.U. without a treaty in place.

E.U. Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and May said Thursday’s meeting included “robust” talks on the Brexit and agreed to hold more negotiations that could push the sealing of any deal to within a month of Britain’s scheduled departure.

The two leaders agreed to meet again “before the end of February to take stock of these discussions,” their statement read.

About two years ago, May’s government set Mar. 29 as the day Britain officially leaves the E.U. – with or without a deal. Her initial plan suggested Britain will have a deal with the E.U. six months prior to the deadline.

The clash between Britain and the E.U. is on the issue of the so-called “backstop” that is supposed to prevent a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, part of the United Kingdom.

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The “backstop” – which was one of the key reasons members of May’s Conservative Party in Parliament voted against the deal – effectively instructs the U.K. to follow many of the E.U. rules until other arrangements ensure no hard border, while putting Northern Ireland in EU’s economic area.

But both May and Northern Irish lawmakers are claiming that such arrangement will set the North into closer union with the Republic of Ireland.

Thursday’s joint statement said that May “raised various options for dealing with these concerns in the context of the Withdrawal Agreement.”

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But while there’s no clear alternative to the backstop, many pro-Brexit lawmakers have said they won’t vote for a deal that doesn’t remove the “backstop” arrangement.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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