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Barnier: ‘Less than 18 months to negotiate Brexit’

The European Commission’s chief negotiator on the UK's exit from the EU has said that the two parties will have less than 18 months in which to reach an agreement.

In his first press conference since being appointed the Commission’s chief Brexit negotiator in July, Michel Barnier, a former French cabinet minister, today said that the negotiation period will have to be less than the two years allowed by Article 50.

This is because that period includes the time that will be needed for the European Council to set out guidelines for the negotiations before they start, as well as the time needed afterwards for the council, the European Parliament and the UK to approve whatever agreement is reached, he said.

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