EU Chief: The Risk of a No-Deal Brexit ‘Remains Very Real’

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker delivers his speech Wednesday, in Strasbourg, eastern France, as members of the European Parliament discuss the current state of play of the U.K.’s withdrawal from the EU. (AP Photo/Jean-Francois Badias)

European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker says the risk of Britain leaving the European Union without a divorce deal remains “very real.”

Speaking at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, Juncker, who met with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday, said a no-deal Brexit “might be the choice of the U.K., but it will never be ours.”

The European Parliament is debating Brexit on Wednesday and is set to adopt a resolution laying out its concerns.

The main sticking point over a Brexit deal is the Irish border backstop, which would require Britain to retain some EU trade rules.

Juncker said, “I have no sentimental attachment to the backstop,” but that he remains attached to the purpose it serves. He said, “I asked the British prime minister to specify the alternative arrangements that he could envisage.”