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EU Official Says No-Deal Brexit Becoming More Likely


European Union chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier arrives for a session at European Parliament in Brussels, April 2, 2019.

European Union chief negotiator Michel Barnier said Tuesday that Britain is getting closer and closer to having its exit from the EU go forward with no deal in place on the terms of its withdrawal.

Speaking in Brussels, Barnier said there is still hope to avoid a so-called no-deal Brexit. But he indicated Britain has limited options, with the only "orderly manner" being a scenario where the British parliament accepts the deal Prime Minister Theresa May's negotiators agreed to after two years of talks with the EU.

To date, British lawmakers have rejected that agreement three times. May is expected to try to bring it back for a fourth vote.

The prime minister is spending hours Tuesday holding Cabinet meetings in search of a way to finally resolve the Brexit crisis.

Britain was originally due to leave the bloc by March 29, but May got approval from the EU for a short extension to give her government more time to find a solution parliament could support.

While the process dragged on, parliament sought its own path forward, but in a series of votes Monday lawmakers struck down four possible paths forward. The closest that came to passing was a proposal to have Britain withdraw from the EU, but remain in a customs union.

The latest deadline set by the European Union is April 12. If British leaders have still not agreed to a plan, then Barnier says the only choices at that point will be for it to exit with no deal or try to get the other EU members to agree to a longer extension.

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