Brexit deal must be signed by ‘November at the latest’, Barnier says

Daniel Fowler
September 2, 2018

Beyond the border issue, European Union negotiator Michel Barnier also highlighted the divisions over whose court should have the final say in case of specific disputes and the recognition of the designation of origins concerning foodstuffs.

Barnier said that the bloc was prepared to offer Britain a partnership, though no "single market a la carte", which improved risk sentiment.

After meeting British Brexit minister Dominic Raab in Brussels, Barnier hailed progress on some security issues but warned there were still major differences over protected geographical indicators like champagne and stilton - and Ireland. "We think the institutional and political constraints to a no-deal are sufficiently large to prevent such a scenario", Kamal Sharma, director of G10 FX strategy at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, said in a note.

Standing alongside Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab, he said: "Week after week and step by step we are eliminating subjects, bones of contention..."

Britain and the European Union (EU) aim to hammer out an agreement on divorce terms and future trade by a European Council summit in October so that it can be approved by individual EU countries before the United Kingdom leaves the bloc on March 29, 2019.

The backstop is an arrangement which will apply if the Irish border can not be kept as frictionless as it is now in the context of a wider deal.

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Mr Raab said that he wanted to continue "accelerating and intensifying" negotiations, adding: "We're committed to resolving the deal by (the October council) and ultimately on my side I am stubbornly optimistic that a deal is within our reach".

Mr Raab told reporters: "On Northern Ireland we remain committed to giving effect to the Joint Report [of last December], continuing the work on the potential solutions, working with Michel and his team on some of the issues he's raised".

"It's essential to conclude the negotiations".

"The solutions must be workable, they've got to be workable for the communities living in Northern Ireland and living in the Republic of Ireland".

With both senior European and British government officials refusing to budge from their respective negotiating positions in recent days, the prospect of a no-deal Brexit has piled pressure on the British currency in recent days.

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