EU is preparing for 'no deal' Brexit, says Michel Barnier advisor
A key advisor to Michel Barnier has said the European Union is preparing for a ‘no deal’ Brexit scenario.
Stefaan de Rynck’s comments come after European Council president Donald Tusk, said it was “up to London” how the negotiations concluded.
He said if no trade agreement were to be reached by March 2019, the UK would become a ‘third country’ reliant on World Trade Organisation rules in many sectors of the economy.
Speaking at the Institute for Government today, Mr de Rynck said the EU was making contingency plans, but he stressed they were not anticipating a ‘no deal’ outcome.
“It is not something we want to advertise, oversell.
“There is a clear negative impact from no deal…especially for the UK economy, but it’s not a scenario that we want to work towards.
“We are preparing for it, that is for sure, the 27, but it is not something we in the negotiation room want to bring in that negotiation room.”
Earlier this week Mr Tusk said it was up to the UK to determine whether or not there was a deal with the bloc.
And the UK’s former top diplomat in Brussels, Sir Ivan Rogers, said Theresa May’s hopes of a bespoke deal looked thin.
He told MPs it was likely the EU would agree to a “deep and comprehensive free trade agreement”, but warned this would be “radically different” to the single market and customs union arrangement the UK currently has.