'Realistic' to believe Brexit deal can be reached between EU and UK in 6-8 weeks: Barnier

'Realistic' to believe Brexit deal can be reached between EU and UK in 6-8 weeks: Barnier

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."

He added: "The treaty is clear, we have two years to reach an agreement before they leave... in March 2019.

"That means that taking into account the time necessary for the ratification process in the House of Commons on one side, the European Parliament and the Council on the other side, we must reach an agreement before the beginning of November. I think it is possible."

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

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