Economy

EU promises UK unparalleled partnership for amicable Brexit

EU promises UK unparalleled partnership for amicable Brexit

"With (Other OTC: WWTH - news) no backstop, we will not be able to have an agreement".

The European Union's Michel Barnier says it's "possible" to get an agreement on Britain's withdrawal from the EU in time for a summit of the bloc's leaders in Brussels from October 18 to 19, but added that a delay into November was also possible.

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.

However, Barnier said a solution was "essential to conclude the negotiations".

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He said the issue was a matter of some urgency, and revealed he had asked Raab to provide data on how the necessary controls and checks take place.

The backstop is a safety net agreed in December that guarantees an invisible border, though there is no agreement to this date on how it will work.

With seven months to go until Britain leaves, its government has been ramping up its no-deal preparations, and negotiators on both sides increasingly expect an informal October deadline for reaching an agreement to slip into November.

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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The UK Government insists that any backstop position should include the UK as a whole. "They must be workable for the communities living in Northern Ireland, and living in the Republic of Ireland, for people affected in their daily lives", Raab said at the joint press conference.

"The solutions (on Ireland) must be workable".

Nathalie Loiseau said May's plan unveiled in July, which envisages the United Kingdom leaving the EU's single market but staying in a free trade area for goods through a customs deal and common rulebook, is unattainable.

He said: "If we achieve what was in the March guidelines then you really do have a partnership with no precedent, this a very ambitious free trade agreement, specific agreements in all sorts of area of common interest".

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In response to Barnier's latest comments, GBPUSD was barely changed after its Wednesday gains, suggesting the uptrend in the pair that began two weeks ago will likely extend higher.