The new round of Brexit negotiations between Brussels and London is scheduled to start on September 25. Meanwhile, British Prime Minister Theresa May will deliver a keynote speech on the issue in Florence on Friday. Barnier, however, stressed that the UK’s approach on key issues remains uncertain, warning that only one year remains for a deal to be reached
"The question facing us over the coming months is serious, but simple: Will the United Kingdom leave in an orderly fashion with an agreement, or not? From our side, I repeat once again that an agreement is the best outcome. It is in our common interest. But if we want a deal, time is of the essence," the official was quoted as saying by The Guardian.
Barnier also pointed to three key issues that still remain unresolved, including the financial settlement, the rights of EU citizens and the Irish border.
The third round of Brexit talks between the UK and Brussels was held in early September. According to UK Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union David Davis, the parties have managed to achieve "concrete progress." However, Barnier has repeatedly expressed skepticism over the lack of progress.
In late March, the United Kingdom officially launched the EU withdrawal process. The Brexit negotiations between London and Brussels, which started on June 19, are expected to conclude by the end of March 2019.