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Salvini said earlier on Friday that "people like" Juncker and EU Economic Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici "have ruined Europe".

Hunt's analogy drew criticism across the European Union, which has formerly communist countries and former Soviet republics as members.

"The Soviet Union was about prisons and gulags, borders and walls, violence against citizens and neighbours".

He added that as a Pole who lived under the Soviet sphere of influence for half his life, "I know what I am talking about".

The EU's vision for future ties with Britain will contain "about 30%-40%" of May's pitch for a wide-ranging trade and security deal, according to two of the diplomats. "It is about democracy and pluralism; a continent without internal borders or walls". Today, the Dutch and United Kingdom governments informed about a cyber attack against the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in the Hague, which was carried out by Kremlin intelligence services.

"On behalf of the European Union, I want to fully condemn this attack and express our complete solidarity with those affected".

Mr Juncker told reporters in Austria that the current holder of the rolling presidency of the European council that recent days had provided some cause for optimism in the talks.

US unemployment rate falls to 49-year low
But it could also accelerate inflation, which would arouse concern at the Federal Reserve and among stock and bond investors. Retailers have begun scrambling to hire enough workers for what's expected to be a robust holiday shopping season.

European Union and Britain are to hold a leaders' summit scheduled for October 17-18, and if there is enough progress, there would be the second summit to be held on November 17-18.

"We have to get away from this no-deal scenario".

Recently there have been hints that May "will propose measures that could bind Northern Ireland to the bloc's standards on goods, if other attempts to avoid a hard border failed, so ensuring there would be no need for checks on north-south trade".

The EU has previously had an issue with that as it fears Britain could use the special access of Northern Ireland to the bloc's single market to push goods that would not have to conform with high EU norms and could hence be sold cheaper.

Mr Tusk also referenced the less comprehensive Canada-style trading deal as advocated by Brexiteers like Boris Johnson and David Davis.

"My assumption is that we will reach an accord which will achieve the conditions of the withdrawal treaty", Juncker said, adding that it was not possible to predict whether there will be a conclusion to the Brexit negotiations in October.

He said he hoped the European Council later this month would make "enough progress" that "we can see it through in November".


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