EU Brexit negotiator says the risk of no-deal Brexit remains

Michel Barnier

European Union chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier attends a debate on post-Brexit relations with United Kingdom at the European Parliament in Brussels, Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019. A respected British think tank slammed Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal on Wednesday, concluding that the economy would be 3.5% smaller over the next decade compared with staying in the European Union. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

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BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator is warning that the risk of having Britain leaving the 28-nation bloc without a ratified deal still remains.

Michael Barnier said during a speech in Brussels that a no-deal Brexit “could happen at the end of January” if British lawmakers fail to ratify the new divorce agreement between the EU and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

The EU has allowed Britain to delay its Brexit departure up to Jan. 31. Britain, meanwhile, is holding a new election on Dec. 12.

Once the divorce deal is ratified, Britain will remain inside the bloc’s single market and bound by its rules until the end of December 2020, while the two sides devise a new trade relationship during a transition period.

Barnier said a no-deal Brexit “could also happen at the end of 2020.”

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