By Associated Press - Wednesday, January 16, 2019

STRASBOURG, France (AP) - European Union Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier says the bloc is stepping up preparations for a chaotic no-deal departure of Britain from the bloc after the rejection of the draft withdrawal deal in London left the EU “fearing more than ever that there is a risk” of a cliff-edge departure.

Barnier regretted Westminster’s massive rejection of the deal he negotiated with the government of British Prime Minister Theresa May and said that any future deal would still have to include approving the withdrawal agreement.

He said Wednesday that “whatever happens, ratification of the withdrawal agreement is necessary. It is a precondition.”



He said that a linked political declaration offered “possible options” for further talks.

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