"I remain confident that the negotiations can reach a good outcome. It is possible to respect EU principles and create a new and ambitious partnership," Barnier wrote in an op-ed published on the European Commission’s website on Thursday.
Barnier added that London and Brussels had already agreed 80 percent of the Withdrawal Agreement. However, he noted that the sides still had to agree on important points, such as the protection of "geographical indications," the border between UK’s Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, as well as on a free trade agreement and the security cooperation.
The United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union in a referendum in 2016. The Brexit negotiations officially started in June 2017 and are expected to be completed by the end of March 2019.
The issue of the Irish border is among the most contentious matters in the EU-UK talks, as possible UK pullout from the EU Customs Union might require the introduction of a hard border between the United Kingdom and Ireland.