EU’s Barnier says he is not optimistic on Brexit deal by mid-October

FILE PHOTO: European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier leaves the European Commission headquarters to attend a meeting with European Council President Donald Tusk in Brussels, Belgium, August 22, 2019. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – EU negotiator Michel Barnier on Thursday expressed pessimism on the prospects of clinching a divorce deal with Britain ahead of its withdrawal from the bloc on Oct. 31.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants to revise the terms that his predecessor Theresa May agreed with the EU but failed to pass at home. The European Union, however, said he has not made any meaningful proposals to win them over.

“I cannot objectively tell you whether the contacts we have with Mr Johnson’s government will lead to an agreement by mid-October,” Barnier told European Parliament leaders.

He said he had no reason to be optimistic and reiterated the bloc’s willingness to work constructively with London and to consider concrete and legally operational proposals that are compatible with the withdrawal agreement.

He said the EU was ready to work with the British government tow


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