No deal Brexit could still happen says French Europe minister despite 3 month extension

0

THE risk of a no deal Brexit has been postponed, but not removed, France’s European Affairs Minister Amélie de Montchalin said on Sunday. Paris was at first reluctant to give the UK a third Brexit extension, arguing that deadlines were important in divorce talks and that repeated delays created nothing but uncertainty.

“At one point, one must assume their responsibilities. That’s why I’m telling companies to prepare for all scenarios because the risk of a no deal Brexit has not been removed,” Mme de Montchalin said in a joint interview with Europe 1 radio, CNews television and Les Echos newspaper.  She said that the Brussels bloc has set “very firm conditions” regarding the latest Brexit extension, adding: “This new delay comes with conditions, it is proportionate.

“The January 31 deadline is not negotiable; the deal on the table is not negotiable.

“We’ve been stuck in an impasse for more than two years because we’re in an impossible triangle: we have the British who want to leave the EU, Boris Johnson and his accord, and lawmakers who keep rejecting this accord. We have three forces that keep clashing.”

She also rebuked the UK and other EU states for branding President Emmanuel Macron the “bad guy” in Brexit talks, arguing France believed repeated delays did nothing but create more uncertainty in Europe.

“Since April, we’ve been cast as the tough guys. We’ve been told: ‘the French are being too hard on the UK’. That is not at all the case.

“We’ve been pushing for more clarity, for things to be more straightforward.  

“That’s why it was important for us to have a justified extension because time alone doesn’t solve problems. The December election will help realign the situation and hopefully allow for an orderly Brexit,” she continued.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson had vowed he would rather be “dead in a ditch” than ask for another extension to Brexit.

He now blames his failure to leave as scheduled on October 31 on Parliament passing what he has referred to as the “Surrender Act”.

This demanded that the Government ask for, and accept, a delay from Brussels rather than crash out of the bloc without a deal to cushion the blow.  

MPs gave provisional support for Mr Johnson’s deal but derailed his plans to get the bill through parliament before deadline day, leading him to push for the December 12 vote to break the impasse.

Despite expressing frustration with the intractable divorce, the 27 remaining member states agreed last week to give the UK a “flexible extension” until January 31, but stressed the third delay came with conditions.

These include a refusal to renegotiate the divorce agreement and giving a green light to the EU27 to meet without Britain to discuss the bloc’s future.

Mr Johnson, for his part, apologised on Sunday for not taking the UK out of the bloc by the October deadline, telling Sky News it was “a matter of deep regret”.

He has since dropped the threat of a no deal Brexit and is now focused on winning the election and getting his divorce deal ratified by parliament.  

“What we’ve got is a fantastic deal that nobody thought we could get… As soon as we get back in the middle of December, we can put that deal through,” Mr Johnson said last week.

Opinion polls give Mr Johnson’s Conservatives a sizeable lead over Labour, but also suggest that more than 10 percent of voters back the Brexit party – enough to divide the pro-Brexit vote in some seats and hand victory to Labour.

Share.

About Author

Leave A Reply