European Union Chief Brexit Negotiator Michel Barnier delivers a speech ahead of debate at the European Policy Centre think-tank in Brussels, Belgium, on Tuesday. Francois Lenoir/Reuters
BRUSSELS: The European Union's chief negotiator Michel Barnier warned Tuesday it is "day after day more likely" that Britain will crash out of the bloc without an orderly withdrawal agreement next week.
Barnier was addressing a think tank in Brussels the day after British lawmakers again failed to unite behind any alternative to the Brexit withdrawal agreement Prime Minister Theresa May signed last year.
"No deal was never our desired nor intended scenario. no deal was never my intended scenario, but the EU 27 is now prepared. It becomes day after day more likely," Barnier told the audience.
"Let's not forget first that we have already an agreement, we have already a deal, and it was concluded by Theresa May and the British government and the European Council and European Parliament on November 25 last year, four months ago," he said.
"We tried to make sure that the UK could leave the EU on March 29, just as the UK had foreseen itself... If the UK still wants to leave the EU in an orderly manner, this agreement, this treaty is and will be the only one."
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Wednesday it was unlikely the European Union would reach any decision on Brexit at this week’s summit in Brussels.
"It is with great regret that I have had to conclude that as things stand, there is still not sufficient support in the House to bring back the deal for a third meaningful vote," May told the House of Commons.
At risk of losing control of the process of leaving the European Union, the leader announced she would resign if parliament finally backed her withdrawal agreement.
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President Donald Trump jabbed at the press and poked the political establishment he ran against in 2016 as he kicked off his reelection campaign with a grievance-filled rally focused more on settling scores than laying out his agenda for a possible second term.
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