Dominic Raab, the Brexit secretary, has stated that he is “confident” that the United Kingdom will be able to reach an exit deal with the European Union by this coming October.
While talking during a joint press conference with the Michel Barnier, the chief Brexit negotiator of the European Union, that was held in Brussels, Raab disclosed that the two sides had the “ambition, pragmatism and energy” to achieve a deal. However, he admitted that there were “still gaps” in some areas of the discussions.
Both Barnier and Raab said that the focus points of the talks were about the outstanding issues that relate to the withdrawal agreement, a political declaration regarding the future trading relationship between the two sides, and avoiding a hard border in Northern Ireland.
After the said conference, the pound was up by 0.52 percent against the US dollar at $1.2863.
However, Barnier suggested that there may be some kind of leeway with the October deadline. He said that a deal would be reached by November, “but no later than that.”
Raab went to Brussels as part of a renewed attempt to move the discussions forward following several months of inaction. He said that he is scheduled to be meeting his counterpart again next week as part of the regular meetings between the two.
When asked by some reporters of the the likelihood of a no-deal Brexit, Raab said that the “hair-raising scare stories” were “very far” from the truth. Meanwhile, Barnier said that the European Union would not be “intimidated” by a “no-deal blame game” against the bloc.
Barnier said that while the European Union respected the decision of the United Kingdom to withdraw from the bloc, it would not compromise the integrity of the single market.
He said that the challenge was to to come up with an “ambitious partnership with the UK that has no precedent.”