The European Union's chief negotiator Michel Barnier yesterday warned it is "day after day more likely" that Britain will crash out of the bloc next week without an orderly withdrawal agreement.
Barnier was addressing a think tank in Brussels the day after British lawmakers again failed to unite behind any alternative to the Brexit withdrawal agreement Prime Minister Theresa May signed last year.
Proposed alternatives for retaining much closer economic ties after leaving the European Union, holding a second referendum or stopping Brexit to prevent a no-deal departure all failed to win a majority of votes in parliament.
"No deal was never our desired nor intended scenario. No deal was never my intended scenario, but the EU 27 is now prepared. It becomes day after day more likely," Barnier told the European Policy Centre.
"Let's not forget first that we have already an agreement, we have already a deal, and it was concluded by Theresa May and the British government and the European Council and European Parliament on November 25 last year, four months ago," he said.
"We tried to make sure that the UK could leave the EU on March 29, just as the UK had foreseen itself... If the UK still wants to leave the EU in an orderly manner, this agreement, this treaty is and will be the only one."
Barnier warned that if May cannot get this withdrawal agreement past the House of Commons, then there are only two other options available before London leaves the union on or shortly after April 12.