No-deal Brexit becomes "day after day more likely": EU negotiator

Source: Xinhua| 2019-04-03 05:28:49|Editor: Mu Xuequan
Video PlayerClose

BRUSSELS, April 2 (Xinhua) -- EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said here on Tuesday that a no-deal Brexit was becoming more likely by the day after British lawmakers rejected alternative options.

The House of Commons' rejection on Monday night of potential solutions to the current ordeal of Brexit has further dimmed the lights for an orderly divorce deal between London and Brussels.

"The only way to avoid a no-deal Brexit is and will be through a positive majority" in the British House of Commons, he said.

Barnier said Britain could have a long extension of Brexit, but only on the basis of "a strong justification".

Barnier said an extension beyond the end of May would require Britain to take part in European parliamentary elections, which "would carry significant risks for the EU and therefore strong justification would be needed".

That Britain could leave without an agreement with the European Union is "day after day more likely", he said. But he insisted that the European Union was prepared for this scenario.

Barnier made it clear that even if Britain asks for a long extension, the withdrawal agreement will not be reopened, and that negotiations on the country's future relationship with the European Union cannot legally take place until Britain is no longer a member.

"We have always said that we can accept a customs union, or relationship along the style of the Norway model. The Political Declaration today can accommodate all of these options already. But if the UK so wishes we are ready to rework the Political Declaration" Barnier added.