European Union preparing for Brexit failure, Barnier says

Elias Hubbard
November 15, 2017

Talking to France's Journal du Dimanche newspaper Barnier warned that people should prepare themselves for the possibility of Brexit talks collapsing.

The EU is drawing up plans for a no deal Brexit scenario, EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier said in an interview published on Sunday (12 November).

"Those are the things that are coming to the fore and the European Union is basically saying that 'if you don't honor some of those previous commitments, then we might be looking at a harder Brexit as well, and we might not want to have such a great trade relationship with you in the future, either, '" she told Sputnik. He added, "Everyone should be prepared for this - European Union states and businesses". We too are making technical preparations for it.

Barnier's warning comes as pressure mounts on May's government to make progress on Brexit talks. Barnier suggested Britain would have to clarify its position in the next fortnight on what it would pay to settle its obligations to the EU if the talks were to have achieved sufficient progress ahead of December's European Council meeting.

Amid reports that Theresa May is considering upping the country's offer with regard to the UK's "divorce bill" from the EU, Director of the Dublin-based Solonian Democracy Institute Dr. Roslyn Fuller told Radio Sputnik that London will have a hard time explaining to voters why they must continue paying billions to Brussels. If it is, Barnier told the JDD, negotiations on a new treaty could start in January and would take "at least two years to conclude". This would have "consequences in multiple areas", he said, from "the capacity of British planes to land in Europe to that of dogs and cats to cross the Channel".

Speaking on Sunday with Niall Paterson on Sky News, Davis said it would be "very expensive" for the United Kingdom if it sought to extend negotiations by 12 months by pausing the article 50 process, adding it would require unanimity from the EU27 and create extra uncertainty for businesses. The UK is an incredibly important market to them. Davis, however, said he would not accept a border between Great Britain and the island. "I would not block the Prime Minister in doing what she believed was right".

The prime minister said the decision to put the specific time of Brexit on the front page of the bill showed the government was determined to see the process through.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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