EU leaders have finally reached an agreement after six hours of chaotic talks on migration.
Donald Tusk, the EU Council President, said the EU 28leaders have agreed on European Council conclusions including migration.
Diplomats said the leaders agreed on a “vaguely worded concept” which would see member states set up a joint asylum process and limit migrants movements within the bloc.
Austrian Chancellor, Sebastian Kurz, has confirmed the EU leaders agreed Italy and Greece can set up migrant centres on their soil if they want to.
The European Council summit lasted so long because the group failed to agree on the final statement as Italy had temporarily blocked the adoption of the documents of the EU summit, insisting on the coordination of migration issues.
Italy has been pushing to see EU countries share the responsibility of asylum-seekers on Italian soil.
Speaking of his pleasure at a deal on migration being reached, Italy’s new hardline Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said: “Italy is no longer alone after this EU summit.”
French President Emmanuel Macron said a hard-fought deal reached by EU leaders on migration showed “European cooperation” had prevailed over national interests.
“After nine hours of discussions, an agreement has been found. It is European cooperation that has won the day,” Macron said as he left talks that began on Thursday evening and lasted until dawn on Friday.
He added:”Europe will have to live with migratory pressures for a long time.
“We must succeed in standing up to this challenge whilst being true to our values.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel echoed Mr Macron’s comments, however, acknowledged tensions still remain high among members of the bitter bloc.
She said: “Overall, after an intensive discussion on the most challenging theme for the European Union, namely migration, it is a good signal that we agreed a common text.
“We still have a lot of work to do to bridge the different views.”
Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel added: “Deal agreed on migration.”
Theresa May hailed the results of the EU negotiations after “lengthy discussions”.
She said EU leaders had agreed to increasingly tackle the problem in countries where the migrants were fleeing from in a bid to reduce people smuggling.
She said: “It is just after 5am, we have had very lengthy discussions, but lengthy discussions on the important subject of migration.
“And we have come to positive conclusions, a lot of them around what the United Kingdom has been encouraging for some time, which is taking more action upstream in countries of origin so that we can ensure that people aren’t having to make and aren’t making these very dangerous journeys, often travelling many miles, often at the hands of the people smugglers and making the dangerous trips across the Mediterranean where we still see some people dying.”
The Prime Minister also called for Brexit negotiations to accelerate and declared the Government’s Brexit White Paper will be published shortly.
She said: “On Brexit I have been stressing we want a deal that works for the UK and our European partners and if we work together we can support each others’ prosperity and security.
“We are going to be publishing our White Paper shortly, and I want to see the negotiations accelerating and intensifying thereafter.
“The future security partnership with the EU will be very important, we currently enjoy a high level of cooperation with member states of the EU in a number of areas on security that are important for our citizens – this is what is at stake.
“I want to see a strong and deep security partnership continuing with our EU partners. We’ll be setting that out in more detail in the White Paper we will publish shortly and I want to show we can accelerate and intensify negotiations – I want to see that from the European Union and the European Commission as well.”