No Brexit deal, no transition without Irish backstop: EU's Barnier

FILE PHOTO - European Union's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier gestures as he delivers a speech at the

Thomson Reuters

BRATISLAVA (Reuters) - The European Union will not conclude an exit agreement with Britain and or give London a transition period after Brexit without a deal that prevents a "hard" border in Ireland, the bloc's main negotiator said on Tuesday.

Speaking at a joint news conference with Slovakia's Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini, the EU's Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said he would seek to agree the whole 100 percent of a draft Brexit accord with London.

"We are still not at the 100 percent," Barnier said. "What is missing is a solution for the issue of Ireland."

"Without an operational backstop there will not be an accord and there will not be a transition period. That is certain."

 

(Reporting by Tatiana Jancarikova, Jan Strupczewski, Alastair Macdonald and Gabriela Baczynska)

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