Michel Barnier confirmed readiness of Europe for complete Brexit without trade deal with London. However, the European Chief Negotiator on Brexit expressed regrets for this and told that this is not the preferred scenario.
“This is not my option, which would be 44 years back, but it is possible”, said Michel Barnier in an interview. “Everyone has to prepare for both countries and businesses, we are preparing ourselves technically”, added he.
Without agreement, the United Kingdom will return, on the date it leaves the EU, “in the regime of the common law of the World Trade Organization, with similarities to those we maintain with China”, warned European Chief Negotiator.
Barnier told it was vital that Britain increases its financial offer, thought to have been estimated by the EU at about 60 billion EUR, if talks are to move on from the divorce phase to future trade as the UK desperately wants. Member states will decide at a summit on 14 and 15 December whether or not “sufficient progress” has been made on the core separation issues – the divorce bill, the Irish border and citizens’ rights – for negotiations to advance to the next stage.
On Friday, the EU gave London two weeks to clarify its divorce commitments, putting this requirement as a condition for opening talks on future trade relations with Britain.