November 13, 2018 / 1:57 PM / a month ago

EU's Timmermans says working for Brexit deal as bloc advances no-deal preparations

FILE PHOTO: European Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans addresses a news conference during a European Union's General Affairs Council in Brussels, Belgium, February 27, 2018. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

STRASBOURG (Reuters) - The European Commission has adopted some contingency plans for no-deal Brexit, deputy head Frans Timmermans said on Tuesday, adding that a negotiated divorce with Britain was still by far the bloc’s preferred solution.

“Very intense negotiations are ongoing. It is clear that although we are making progress, we are not there yet,” Timmermans told a news conference.

“We also discussed a number of issues related to our no-deal planning. You have to do that anyway. We are working very hard for deal and let be clear that is by far our preferred option. But we need to prepare for all options,” he added.

He also confirmed the Commission, the EU’s executive arm in Brussels, was proposing to exempt Britons travelling to the EU after Brexit from visas.

Reporting by Jan Strupczewski, Richard Lough, Gabriela Baczynska; Editing by Robin Pomeroy

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