Risk of no-deal Brexit probable, says Juncker

Source: Xinhua| 2019-09-18 20:39:53|Editor: Lu Hui
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STRASBOURG, France, Sept. 18 (Xinhua) -- The risk of non-deal Brexit remains "very real," outgoing President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker told European Parliament here on Wedensday.

"An agreement is always desirable and always possible," Juncker said. "I'm not sure we'll succeed, but we have to try."

The scenario of no-deal "may be the choice of the United Kingdom, but never the choice of the EU," he added.

On Monday, Juncker met Boris Johnson in Luxembourg and asked the British prime minister, who reiterated that Britain would leave the EU on October 31, to present "concrete proposals".

Their meeting focused on the Irish backstop, a protocol aiming to prevent a hard border. Johnson reconfirmed his determination to reach a Brexit deal with the backstop removed while Juncker insisted on "the UK's responsibility to come forward with legally operational solutions that are compatible with the Withdrawal Agreement."

With a referendum in which 52 percent of voters supported withdrawal in June 2016, the British government started a two-year Brexit process which was to conclude on March 29, 2019.

As the British parliament refused to ratify the negotiated documents with the EU, that deadline has been extended twice, and the latest is currently scheduled for Oct.31, 2019.

The European Parliament is expected to adopt a new resolution on Brexit in the French city of Strasbourg on Wednesday.