"No deal or bad deal" not our aim in Brexit talks, says EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier

William Turvill
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British Prime Minister Greets European Commission President in Downing Street
Michel Barnier is the EU's chief Brexit negotiator (Source: Getty)

The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator has said he wants to begin talks the day after the General Election and does not want a “no deal” with the UK.

Michel Barnier also called for Britain to conduct negotiations in the same “spirit” as the EU.

Read more: Barnier: Brexit will come at a cost to remaining EU members

“I’d like to repeat to you that our aim is to achieve an agreement,” he told the European Parliament this morning.

“I certainly don’t intend to have no agreement, no deal or a bad deal. We want to conclude a deal with the UK, not against the UK.

“And in fact, I [would] very much appreciate that on the UK side you could find the same spirit to reach a deal with the EU, not against the EU.”

Read more: Meet the four men in charge of the EU’s Brexit negotiations

On the timing of negotiations, Barnier added:

We hope to start [the negotiations] as soon as possible, the day after the election that May has called for 8 June.

Also in the European Parliament today, European Council president Donald Tusk talked tough on trade, saying the EU must take steps to guard itself in talks with the UK.

It was difficult to discern what Nigel Farage made of Barnier's speech

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