EU’s Juncker: Not optimistic no-deal Brexit can be avoided

BRUSSELS (AP) – European Union (EU) Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said despite constructive talks with British Prime Minister Theresa May he remains downbeat on the prospect of Britain avoiding a chaotic exit from the bloc next month.

Juncker told an EU conference yesterday that a no-deal Brexit “will have terrible economic and social consequences both in Britain and on the continent,” adding he was doing his utmost so “the worst can be avoided”.

But he said “I am not very optimistic when it comes to this issue.”

Late Wednesday, May and Juncker said they held “constructive” talks at the EU headquarters. They said negotiators would urgently seek a way out of the Brexit quagmire to prevent Britain from crashing out of the bloc on March 29 without a smooth transition period.

British Prime Minister Theresa May (L) is greeted by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker prior to a meeting at EU headquarters in Brussels. – AP