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  • European Union's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier at a news conference after the extraordinary EU summit to formalise the Brexit agreement.

    European Union's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier at a news conference after the extraordinary EU summit to formalise the Brexit agreement. | Photo: Reuters

Published 29 November 2018
Opinion

EU negotiator Michel Barnier insisted the deal was the only one possible. The U.K. Parliament will vote on the Brexit deal on Dec. 11.

The European Union's Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier spoke at the European Parliament Thursday. During his intervention, he stressed the Brexit deal the bloc agreed with Prime Minister Theresa May was the only one possible as the EU awaits the verdict from London where May is trying to sell the deal to a divided parliament, which will vote on it on Dec. 11.

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May's Brexit Deal: EU Approves, Opposition Expected to Block It

Barnier insisted the Brexit deal sealed after 18 months of talks will not be renegotiated.

"Given the difficult circumstances of this negotiation and given the extreme complexity of all the issues of the British withdrawal, the deal that is on the table ... is the only one and the best possible," Barnier said.

"Now is the time for ratification."

The Bank of England said Wednesday Britain risked suffering an even bigger hit to its economy than during the 2008 global financial crisis if it left the EU without a deal.

"It's not a question of winners and losers because Brexit is a lose-lose. There is no added value," Barnier said.

"I am convinced we will be able to work together for a real and unprecedented partnership," he said of Britain's future relationship with the EU, talks on which will start after Brexit day on March 29, 2019.

During the EU parliamentary debate Thursday, Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage said May's deal would be voted down in the British parliament as "the worst deal in history."

Shortly after unanimously approving the Brexit deal Sunday, the EU warned members of parliament in the U.K. against voting down the deal.

“Those who think that, by rejecting the deal, they would get a better deal, will be disappointed,” European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said. 

The Financial Conduct Authority, the regulator for 58,000 financial services firms and financial markets in the U.K., said in a report commissioned by parliament that "an exit without an agreement would carry much higher risk and carry significant uncertainty ..." 

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