EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said it was still possible to reach an agreement on Brexit with the UK this week.
“Negotiations have been intense over the weekend and yesterday, and although it will be tougher, the agreement is possible this week,” Barnier said after arriving in Luxembourg for a meeting with EU foreign ministers ahead of the October 17-18 summit.
Barnier said the challenge was to translate British proposals on the complex issue of the Irish border into a binding document.
“It is high time to translate good intentions into a legal text,” EU chief negotiator Brexit said.
On the other hand, German Chancellor Angela Merkel today compared her attempts to start the Brexit negotiation from a blind spot with “calculating square footage of the circle”, but also promised to work towards an agreement by which the UK would properly exit the EU.
She added that “she will work on a regulated British exit until the last moment” but also that the EU is ready for the Brexit scenario without an agreement.
Merkel said that “one thing is already clear” – that the UK will become “another competitor on the doorstep of Europe” and that therefore “the EU will have to be even more competitive and take on geopolitical responsibility.”
The UK’s withdrawal from EU membership is scheduled for October 31st.