October 16, 2018 / 12:27 PM / a month ago

EU's Barnier says will work "seriously" in coming weeks for Brexit deal

European Union's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier attends an EU's General Affairs Council in Brussels, Belgium, September 18, 2018. REUTERS/Yves Herman

LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) - The European Union and Britain will work “calmly and seriously” in the next weeks to reach a deal on Britain’s withdrawal from the bloc without creating a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier said.

Speaking to journalists before briefing EU ministers at a meeting in Luxembourg, Barnier said the withdrawal agreement with Britain had to be “orderly for everyone and all the subjects, including Ireland.”

“We will take this time, calmly and seriously, to reach this overall accord in the next weeks,” Barnier said. “We need more time to find this deal ... and to reach this decisive progress.”

Leaders of the 27 European Union countries that will remain in the bloc after Britain leaves in March 2019, will discuss progress in the negotiations on Wednesday evening.

Reporting by Jan Strupczewski, Alissa de Carbonnel and Gabriela Baczynska

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