September 21, 2018 / 7:48 AM / a year ago

EU, Britain must treat each other like loving hedgehogs - Juncker

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker arrives for the informal meeting of European Union leaders ahead of the EU summit, in Salzburg, Austria, September 19, 2018. REUTERS/Lisi Niesner

VIENNA (Reuters) - The European Union and Britain should treat one another like two hedgehogs in love who do not want to hurt each other, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has told Austrian newspapers.

“We have to be careful, like two loving hedgehogs,” Juncker said when asked about the progress of the Brexit negotiations in an interview with several Austrian dailies including Die Presse and Salzburger Nachrichten published on Friday.

“When two hedgehogs hug each other, you have to be careful that there will be no scratches.”

European Union leaders agreed at a summit in Austria to push for a Brexit deal next month. But they told Prime Minister Theresa May that if she does not give ground on trade and the Irish border issue by November, they are ready to cope with Britain crashing out of the bloc with no deal.

Reporting by Kirsti Knolle; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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