February 13, 2019 / 7:36 AM / 6 months ago

Choice between Brexit deal or delay is not UK government's position: minister

FILE PHOTO - Britain's Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union Steve Barclay appears on BBC TV's The Andrew Marr Show in London, Britain, December 9, 2018. Jeff Overs/BBC/Handout via REUTERS

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain does not face a choice between Prime Minister Theresa May’s deal or a significant delay to Brexit, Brexit minister Steve Barclay said on Wednesday, adding reported comments by a senior Brexit negotiator did not reflect government position.

Britain’s lead Brexit negotiator Olly Robbins has said lawmakers face a choice between May’s exit deal or a long extension of the March 29 deadline for leaving the EU, ITV news said, citing a private conversation.

“(I’m not) in a position to comment on conversations when I wasn’t there and heard second hand in a noisy bar,” Barclay said on BBC radio.

When asked if Robbins’ comments reflected the government’s position, Barclay said: “No, the prime minister has been very clear that we are committed to leaving on the 29th of March... It’s not in anyone’s interest to have an extension without any clarity.”

Reporting by Alistair Smout and Kate Holton; editing by Guy Faulconbridge

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