The Brexit negotiator on behalf of the European Union, Michel Barnier, said that a deal on the UK's withdrawal could be reached as early as next week, speaking from Brussels on Wednesday. «Our objective, which has had been set by 27 European member-states of the parliament, a deal is within reach, if we go through with these negotiations on October 17, next Wednesday, on the occasion of the... Еще European Council meeting,» said Barnier. However, obstacles still remain before a final deal can be reached. «The UK wants to leave and will leave the Single Market and the Customs Union. This means that there must be checks on goods traveling between the EU and the UK, and that checks do not exist today,» said Barnier, adding that a 'hard border' dividing the Republic of Ireland from Northern Ireland is something that both parties, namely the EU and the UK, wish to avoid.