European commission president says bloc must prepare for worst outcome

The EU needs to be realistic about the state of the Brexit negotiations and is now preparing to deploy its trillion-pound budget to cushion the bloc from the prospect of a no deal scenario, the European commissionpresident has warned.

With the two sides still far apart on the “hardest issues”, just days from a crunch leaders’ summit in Brussels, Jean-Claude Juncker told the Irish parliament on Thursday he was stepping up preparations for a breakdown in talks, and even drafting plans aimed at keeping the peace in Northern Ireland.

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