EU’s negotiator, Barnier says Brexit deal looking ‘more and more difficult
Reaching a deal with Britain on changes to the Brexit withdrawal agreement by the end of the week is looking “more and more difficult,” according to the EU’s lead negotiator, Michel Barnier.
“It’s high time to turn good intentions into a legal text,” Barnier said on Tuesday in Luxembourg on his way to brief European Affairs ministers on the state of negotiations.
He, however, said that it was still possible to reach an agreement and that any deal should work for everyone.
London and Brussels are striving to strike a deal by the end of the week as the clock runs down to the deadline for Britain’s departure from the bloc, currently set for Oct. 31.
If Britain left without a withdrawal agreement in place – a no deal Brexit – it would be “a disaster,” German Minister of State for Europe, Michael Roth, said Tuesday in Luxembourg.
As well as being briefed by Barnier in Luxembourg, ministers from all the EU member states except Britain are expected to discuss the chances of striking a deal or of agreeing an extension of the Brexit deadline.
All eyes are on the summit of EU leaders starting Thursday.
But any deal agreed between London and Brussels would still have to make it through the British and European parliaments by the end of the month.
Another potential option would be an extension, though British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has vowed to resist this.
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