LONDON (Reuters) – The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator mentioned in an interview to be revealed on Thursday that he was unimpressed by threats of no-deal Brexit however that if the UK opted for such a course it must face the implications.
FILE PHOTO: EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier speaks throughout a information convention on the Ministry of International Affairs in Nicosia, Cyprus Might 20, 2019. REUTERS/Yiannis Kourtoglou
Requested by the BBC what would occur if London tore up its EU membership card, Michel Barnier mentioned: “The UK must face the implications.”
“I believe that the UK facet, which is nicely knowledgeable and competent and is aware of the way in which we work on the EU facet, knew from the very starting that we’ve by no means been impressed by such a risk,” Barnier mentioned. “It’s not helpful to make use of it”.
Barnier spoke to the BBC earlier than Britain’s Conservative Celebration management contest. Boris Johnson, who’s the frontrunner within the contest to interchange Prime Minister Theresa Might, has pledged to depart the EU with or with no deal on Oct. 31.
If Johnson wins, the three-year Brexit disaster might deepen because the EU has refused to countenance altering the Withdrawal Settlement and the British parliament might attempt to block a no-deal Brexit.
Barnier mentioned the Withdrawal Settlement “is the one solution to go away the EU in an orderly method”.
EU Fee’s first vice-president, Frans Timmermans, instructed the BBC that UK ministers have been “operating round like idiots” once they arrived to barter Brexit in 2017.
Timmermans mentioned he was shocked by the usual of the British negotiation after initially anticipating a superb present.
“We thought they’re so good,” he mentioned. “That in some vault someplace in Westminster there might be a Harry Potter-like e book with all of the methods and all of the issues in it to do.”
However then: “I assumed, ‘Oh my God, they haven’t bought a plan, they haven’t bought a plan.’”
“Time’s operating out and also you don’t have a plan. It’s like Lance Corporal Jones, you already know, ‘Don’t panic, don’t panic!’ Working round like idiots.”
Reporting by Man Faulconbridge; modifying by Costas Pitas