Ruling out further negotiations on Brexit on December 11, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said efforts were being made to give Britain reassurances after British Prime Minister Theresa May abruptly pulled a parliamentary vote at home to avoid defeat.

On December 11, May travelled to The Hague to meet with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and then to Berlin to meet Chancellor Merkel before a trip to Brussels.

As reported by the Reuters news agency, the message from the EU was clear: it will give assurances about how it will interpret the exit treaty but will not countenance reopening the text itself.

According to two sources, Merkel told her own German conservative parliamentary group on December 11 that there would be no further negotiations on Brexit, but efforts were being made to give Britain reassurances.

May had informed Merkel that the deal would have been voted down, and that it was in nobody’s interest for Britain to leave with no accord, the sources said.

“The deal we achieved is the best possible. It’s the only deal possible. There is no room whatsoever for renegotiation,” European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker said in an address to the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

According to Reuters, the British parliament will get its vote before January 21, May’s spokeswoman said. If there is no satisfactory deal by then, parliament will still be given a debate on the issue.

The Irish “backstop” remains most contentious issue.