LONDON, Sep 1 (Reuters / EP) –
The chief negotiator of the European Union for Brexit, Michel Barnier, has admitted this Sunday that he is not optimistic when thinking that a scenario in which the United Kingdom leaves the block without an agreement can be avoided, since the European Union it cannot fulfill London's demand that the safeguard for the Irish border be removed from the pact.
In an opinion column published in the 'Sunday Telegraph' newspaper, Barnier explained that the so-called “backstop” must remain part of the agreement to protect the integrity of the EU single market and ensure an open border on the island of Ireland.
“I am not optimistic about whether a scenario can be avoided without agreement, but we should all continue working with determination,” said Barnier. “The Irish safeguard is the maximum flexibility that the EU can offer to a non-member state,” he added.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised to remove the United Kingdom from the EU with or without agreement on October 31. Meanwhile, the opposition plans to act in Parliament next week to prevent a possible non-agreed exit.