PARIS, Oct. 16 (Xinhua) -- French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire on Wednesday said he was upbeat for an amicable divorce of Britain from the European Union (EU) before the country's departure by the end of this month.
"There is a glimmer of hope, from what I hear from the negotiators," Le Maire said, stressing that protecting the European single market remained a "red line" in the Brexit negotiations.
"The price can not be the slightest questioning of the single European market because it is our most valuable asset," he told Europe 1 radio.
Negotiators from Brussels and London entered into a fresh round of talks on Tuesday on a Brexit agreement that could be approved by a summit of EU leaders on Oct. 17-18.
Britons voted to leave the bloc in a 2016 referendum. The UK's departure was initially scheduled for March 29, 2019, but it has already been delayed twice due to the failure by the UK Parliament to agree on how the country should leave the European bloc.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has pledged to take the UK out of the EU on Oct. 31 with or without a withdrawal agreement. However, last month the UK's lawmakers adopted a law that forces Johnson to seek a Brexit extension if there is no deal reached by Oct. 19.