September 20, 2018 / 7:49 AM / a month ago

Britain is 85-90 percent of the way to agreeing Brexit deal: UK minister

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain is over 85 percent of the way to agreeing a deal with the European Union on its exit from the bloc, Cabinet Office minister David Lidington told Irish radio on Thursday, adding that a deal could be reached by October or November.

FILE PHOTO: Britain's Minister for the Cabinet Office David Lidington delivers a speech during the MEDEF union summer forum on the campus of the HEC School of Management in Jouy-en-Josas, near Paris, France, August 29, 2018. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

“The withdrawal agreement - we’re 85 percent...90 percent of the way to fixing the text,” Lidington said.

When asked if a deal was possible by an October or November deadline, he replied: “Yes I believe that there can be, and I remain, despite the outstanding difficulties, I remain optimistic.”

He said that the key outstanding element to be agreed was what has become known as the Irish backstop issue.

Reporting by Sarah Young; editing by Guy Faulconbridge

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