French Minister Says UK Can’t Afford No-Deal Brexit

A French official, Amelie de Montchalin said on Friday that she would not rule out the European Union’s (EU) trade talks with departed ex-member Britain ending without a deal.

According to her, it was in Britain’s interest to reach one.

“I am not ruling out anything. Those who need a deal the most are the British. They cannot withstand a second shock after the epidemic” she told Europe 1 radio when asked if she could rule out a no-deal Brexit.

“They wouldn’t have access to the security net that is Europe. They wouldn’t have access to the stimulus fund,” she added, alluding to the economic hit to European states caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told visiting French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday that talks on a post-Brexit deal cannot drag on into the autumn.

Montchalin said: “We will not yield to this deadline pressure – this final sprint that Britain wants to impose on us in the hope we will cave in.

“We do not want a deal for the sake of having a deal but we want a balanced deal.”

Britain left the European Union on Jan. 31 but talks on future relations have so far made little progress.

AFP