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STRASBOURG (Reuters) - Britain cannot be a third country and retain the benefits of the European Union after it leaves the bloc in 2019, the EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said on Tuesday
"One cannot have at the same time the status of a third country and demand at the same time the advantages of the (European) Union," Barnier told a plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.
"It is time to face up to the hard facts," he added.
(Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek and Philip Blenkinsop)