June 29, 2018 / 8:56 AM / in 8 months

EU's Barnier says progress in Brexit talks but 'big differences remain'

EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier talks to Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven as they arrive at a European Union leaders summit in Brussels, Belgium June 29, 2018. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said on Friday that EU leaders had made progress in Brexit talks but big differences remained and he hoped an upcoming British proposal would be “valuable and workable.”

“On Brexit we have made progress but huge and serious divergences remain in particular on Ireland and Northern Ireland,” Barnier told reporters in Brussels.

“Now we are waiting for the U.K. White Paper and I hope it will contain workable and realistic proposals but let me mention once again that the time is very short,” he said.

Barnier added that the EU wants and “ambitious partnership” with Britain on trade and security after it leaves the bloc next year but one based on the EU’s values.

Reporting by Alissa de Carbonnel @AdeCar editing by Robert-Jan Bartunek

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