‘Reasonable Compromise’ on Brexit Urged by Goldman’s Barroso

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Britain and the European Union should work for a “reasonable compromise” on Brexit that limits the negative impact of the divorce and ensures a healthy future relationship, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. adviser and former European Commission president Jose Barroso said.

“It’s not going to be very good. But I believe we can mitigate the negative effects and avoid very serious consequences,” Barroso said in an interview with Bloomberg Television on Monday. “It will be wise on both sides to work now decisively for an agreement.”

Barroso said he didn’t agree with U.K. International Trade Secretary Liam Fox’s assessment over the weekend that the Brexit negotiations are more likely to end in failure than in success. Blaming the European Commission, now led by Jean-Claude Juncker, for a lack of flexibility in the divorce talks, Fox told the Sunday Times that he sees a 60 percent likelihood of a no-deal outcome.

“I still believe that it’s possible to have an agreement,” Barroso said. “I think now they should come to the final moments of negotiations, focus the minds of the negotiators, and work for a reasonable compromise.”

Barroso pointed a finger at the U.K. for the current “scenario of uncertainty” around Brexit.

“The real problem so far has been that there is not a real majority in Britain,” Barroso said in the interview. “There was a majority to leave the European Union in the Brexit vote, certainly, but what kind of Brexit?”

The next round of Brexit negotiations is scheduled for Aug. 16-17.

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