Statement from the Prime Minister in Sharm el-Sheikh: 25 February 2019

Prime Minister Theresa May gave a press statement at the first ever meeting between the EU and the League of Arab States.

I would like to begin by thanking President Sisi and the Egyptian people for their warm hospitality over the past two days, and for hosting the first ever meeting between the EU and the League of Arab States.

We have come together to address the challenges we face head on, so that we can deliver prosperity and security for all of our countries.

I have had constructive discussions with King Salman of Saudi Arabia, the Amir of Kuwait, Prime Minister Hariri of Lebanon and others, on issues such as migration, the crises in Yemen and Syria, instability in Libya, the evolving threat from Daesh, and the Middle East Peace Process. The fortunes of our regions have long been intertwined. A stable, peaceful Arab region matters to Europe, and the UK is fully committed to continue working on this with our allies both now and after we leave the EU.

Of course, I’ve also had the opportunity to discuss Brexit while I’ve been here. I held good meetings with President Tusk, Prime Minister Conte, Chancellor Merkel, Prime Minister Rutte, President Juncker and the Taoiseach.

There is still more work to do, and my team will be in Brussels tomorrow working on the legally binding assurances that the UK Parliament needs in relation to the backstop.

But what I have sensed in all of my conversations with my fellow leaders both here in Sharm el-Sheikh and in recent days is a real determination to find a way through which allows the UK to leave the EU in a smooth and orderly way with a deal.