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The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, crossed the newswires in the last hour to deliver the remarks seen below.

  • EU leaders meeting in October to be ‘moment of truth’.
  • Two issues still outstanding, must make headway on issue of Ireland.
  • Ready to improve EU proposal on Irish backstop.
  • Need fully operational backstop that would protect integrity of EU single market.
  • Irish backstop would only apply until better solution found.
  • Will see if a Brexit agreement is ‘within reach’ in October.
  • Irish backstop must be legally operational and respect UK constitutional integrity.
  • Working to improve proposal on Irish border backstop after Brexit.
  • New Irish backstop proposal will be about ‘set of technical checks and controls’, not about sea or land border.
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