It is "realistic" to believe a Brexit deal can be agreed between the UK and EU within the next six to eight weeks, Michel Barnier has said.
The EU's chief negotiator told the Bled Strategic Forum in Slovenia it was "possible" that a deal could be agreed by the start of November.
Mr Barnier said: "If we are realistic, I want to reach an agreement on the first stage of the negotiation, which is the Brexit treaty, within six or eight weeks."
United on EU core principles. Determined to work hard for agreement on orderly withdrawal, incl. Ireland/NI, and political declaration on ambitious future relationship pic.twitter.com/ghK8FOAc9U— Michel Barnier (@MichelBarnier) September 10, 2018
He added: "The treaty is clear, we have two years to reach an agreement before they leave... in March 2019.
Responding to Mr Barnier's comments, the British Prime Minister's official spokesman said: "We have said ourselves that we are focused on securing a deal in October and that continues to be what we are working towards."
- Digital Desk & Press Association