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European Parliament President Antonio Tajani is seen at the beginning of a plenary session of the EU Parliament in Brussels, Belgium. Photo by Francois Lenoir/Reuters

EU parliament chief warns of Brexit ‘catastrophe’

BRUSSELS — The president of the European Parliament is warning that the EU and Britain are on the verge of an “economic and human catastrophe” if they fail to finalize the Brexit agreement.

After talks with British Prime Minister Theresa May, Antonio Tajani said Thursday: “We are very concerned. … This is the reality of a no-deal Brexit.”

Tajani, whose European Parliament, like the U.K. Parliament, must endorse any deal by March 29, says that lawmakers do not want to renegotiate the legally binding divorce agreement.

But he says that they “are open to be more ambitious on our future relations, including looking at the Irish situation again if the U.K.’s red lines change.”

Top EU Brexit lawmaker Guy Verhofstadt is proposing to make a separate Brexit political declaration on future EU-U.K. ties “more binding, more precise.”

READ MORE: EU leaders say ‘no’ Brexit deal changes. What now?

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