EU leaders reach deal on migration at summit


European Union leaders have reached an agreement on how to deal with migration after all-night talks in Brussels to overcome Italian demands for more help.

EU Council President Donald Tusk said in a tweet that the 28 EU “leaders have agreed” on a migration compromise which was at the heart of their two-day summit.

EU diplomats said that the leaders finally found agreement on a vaguely worded concept centreing on reception centres to deal with migrants and asylum seekers in EU nations which would volunteer to have them.

French President Emmanuel Macron said the deal was “good news”.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel echoed Mr Macron’s sentiments, but acknowledged that deep divisions remained among member states.

“Overall, after an intensive discussion on the most challenging theme for the European Union, namely migration, it is a good signal that we agreed a common text,” Mrs Merkel said.

“We still have a lot of work to do to bridge the different views,” she added.

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Fever pitch at EU summit

Mrs Merkel had warned that the bloc’s “destiny” was at stake if it failed to reach an agreement, with her own job also hanging in the balance as tensions over the issue grow at home.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, who heads a month-old populist and anti-immigration government, had vetoed joint conclusions for the entire agenda of the EU summit until his demands were met.

Italy has recently refused to let several migrant rescue boats dock at its ports, demanding that the responsibility for people arriving across the Mediterranean should be shared between other countries.

“Italy is no longer alone,” Mr Conte said after the migrant deal.

More to follow…

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