The European Union delivered a stark warning on Wednesday that Britain was headed for a damaging no-deal Brexit, with London’s ideas on replacing the contentious backstop to unlock an accord falling short just six weeks before Britain is due to leave.
Addressing EU lawmakers sitting in Strasbourg, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had told him on Monday that London still wanted a deal, but would leave with or without one on Oct. 31.
Pro-Brexit lawmakers cheered and applauded in the chamber.
“There is very little time left…The risk of a no-deal is very real,” said Juncker, his comments weighing on the sterling.
EU leaders will meet for a make-or-break summit in Brussels on Oct.17-18, just a fortnight before Brexit is due to materialize more than three years after Britons voted to leave.
But U.S. investment bank JPMorgan sounded negative on Wednesday about the prospects of Johnson striking a deal then after recent rounds of talks between the two sides showed significant gaps remain.
Britain is not likely to present a complete set of detailed, written proposals of how it would want the text of the existing – but stalled – Brexit deal changed before the end of the month, UK and EU sources said.