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LONDON – The Latest on Britain's exit from the European Union (all times local):
The European Union's Brexit negotiator is warning about "a long and winding road ahead" before the UK leaves the bloc March 29, insisting before the British parliament's vote on the breakup that the current withdrawal accord "is the only possible deal."
Michel Barnier briefed the EU's parliament early Thursday and still saw many potential pitfalls ahead despite last Sunday's agreement between the 27 EU leaders and British Prime Minister Theresa May.
"We are not at the end of the process," Barnier said. "The road ahead is long and it is up and down — a long and winding road."
May is facing an uphill battle to get the deal past British legislators on Dec. 11. If she succeeds, the approval in the European Parliament is almost certain.
The governor of the Bank of England says most British businesses aren't ready for a no-deal departure from the European Union.
Mark Carney told the BBC on Thursday that "less than half of businesses have initiated" contingency plans designed to protect operations in the event Britain leaves the 28-nation bloc without an agreement on future trading relations.
When asked if businesses are ready, Carney said "as best as we can tell, the answer is no."
The comments come as lawmakers from all parties are criticizing the agreement Prime Minister Theresa May negotiated with the EU, increasing the likelihood of a no-deal Brexit. Carney warned Wednesday that a no-deal departure would trigger a recession more severe than the one that followed the 2008 financial crisis.