February 19, 2016 / 1:55 AM / 3 years ago

Renzi: less optimistic than before about UK-EU deal

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said on Friday he was less optimistic than before about a European Union deal on new membership terms for Britain after some backward steps occurred on the first day of an EU summit.

Speaking to reporters early on Friday after hours of summit debate on Britain’s reform demands and the EU’s migration crisis, Renzi said there had been “some timid steps forward on migration, some steps back on a UK deal”.

“I’m always confident, but a bit less optimistic than when I arrived,” he said when asked whether he still believed a deal with Britain would be possible on Friday.

Reporting by Francesco Guarascio; Writing by Paul Taylor

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