Brexit deal looking ‘more and more difficult,’ says EU’s Barnier

Luxembourg – 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. Reaching an agreement is still possible, he said, but any deal has to 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 October 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.