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Brussels blames Michel Barnier’s interpreters for raising false hopes of Brexit deal

Brussels has moved to dampen down expectations that a Brexit deal could soon be finalised, blaming Michel Barnier’s interpreters for inaccurately saying an agreement was “within reach” as early as next week.

European Commission sources blamed the inaccurate interpretation, which caused the pound to surge, although observers noted that Mr Barnier had garbled his words somewhat.

The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator was speaking in French to a conference of business leaders at the European Parliament on Wednesday, as speculation in London mounted that Theresa May had decided on a UK offer over the Irish border backstop.

Stefaan De Rynck, a senior aide to Mr Barnier, tweeted that his boss had said…

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