Barnier weirdly emotional as he thanks UK for solidarity in 'our darkest hour' - VIDEO

Mr Barnier was giving a joint press briefing with Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and EU Council President Donald Tusk. The European leaders were giving details on a new Brexit deal agreed between the Brussels bloc and the UK Government. Boris Johnson's new deal crucially sees the much-maligned Irish backstop scrapped – a move making it more likely to pass in the House of Commons than Theresa May's previous efforts. 

Mr Barnier lamented the UK's exit from the bloc in the same vein as Mr Tusk, who proclaimed he would always be a "Remainer" at heart. 

Addressing the media, Mr Barnier referred to his "Gaullist tendencies" and said: "I too very much regret Brexit. I deeply regret it.

"However, we respect it. It was the sovereign choice of a majority in the UK.

"I have a sort of Gaullist tendency, myself. I have a great deal of admiration for the UK.

READ MORE: Barnier explains FOUR ways Boris’s deal is different to Theresa May's

"I always have had tremendous admiration and great respect for the UK.

"We will never forget the solidarity shown to us by the British in our darkest hour.

"I have great respect for statesmen like Winston Churchill and many others. I have infinite respect for the UK.

"And that is why throughout these negotiations you will never have heard one word from me that was aggressive or indicated in some way that we wanted to be vengeful."

Mr Barnier's intervention came shortly before the Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke to the media at the Brussels summit. 

Mr Johnson was adamant he would be able to get his new deal through the House of Commons when MPs sit for the first time on a Saturday since the Falklands War this weekend.

He said: "I'm very confident that when my colleagues in parliament study this agreement they will want to vote for it on Saturday and then in succeeding days."

The Prime Minister added: "We've been at this now, as I say, for three-and-a-half years. It hasn't always been an easy experience for the UK. It's been long, it's been painful, it's been divisive.

"And now is the moment for us as a country to come together. Now is the moment for our parliamentarians to come together and get this thing done.

"And, as I say, to begin building a new and progressive partnership with our EU friends, with whom of course we share so many priorities." 

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German leader Angela Merkel has played an instrumental role in the Brexit talks as she is a key player in the Brussels bloc.

After a deal was reached on Thursday between Mr Johnson and the EU27, Ms Merkel said Germany was "optimistic" but she was still "making up her mind" on how to proceed.

Addressing media at Thursday's EU summit in Brussels, Ms Merkel said: "I’m sure the news of the summit today will be that the UK Government and the European Commission managed to agree on a deal.

"We are now examining it and are making up our minds. But of course we already know big parts of the agreement and therefore I am saying that it is good news.

"Of course the parliaments, meaning the European parliament and the British parliament, have to agree but pending on this agreement we can say that an agreement was made here in an extremely difficult situation and it opens up the possibility of keeping the integrity of the single market.

"At the same time, it respects the Good Friday Agreement and the fact that the Irish prime minister is also happy here is a very important sign for me."

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