The EU’s Chief Negotiator was caught by Sky News as he entered the EU Summit being held in Brussels this evening. Mr Barnier explained: “One point is important: any extension has to be useful and serve a purpose.
“And our common purpose is to get the ratification of the withdrawal agreement.
“Let me recall that this withdrawal agreement is the only way to ensure an orderly withdrawal of the UK, which is our common interest.
“So now it’s up to the leader to decide tonight.”
Before reporters could ask anything more, Mr Barnier continued into the chamber.
Sky News host Adam Boulton responded by saying that the EU giant was “simply sticking to the script.”
Meanwhile, French President Emmanuel Macron said that “for me, nothing is settled, and in particular no long extension”.
Arriving at the summit, Mr Macron said he was “impatient” to hear what Mrs May had to say.
“We must understand today why this request, what is the political project which justifies it and what are the clear proposals?” he said.
Mr Macron said the leaders would need “a lot of calm, a lot of determination and a lot of sang-froid”.
“It is 34 months since the British referendum, and the key for us is that we are able to pursue the European project in a coherent way,” he added.
“I believe deeply that we are carrying out a European rebirth, and I don’t want the subject of Brexit to get in the way of that.”
Mr Macron said it was important for EU leaders to respect the democratic decision of the British people, even if he did not agree with it.