European Union has nothing to gain from no-deal Brexit, says Juncker

Theresa May Brexit

European Union has nothing to gain from no-deal Brexit, says Juncker

An October extension delays the possibility of a no-deal Brexit, which will give businesses "some certainty in this unstable time".

The Belgian MEP took the unusual step of welcoming his long-standing sparring partner Mr Farage's move to set up his new Brexit Party as he railed against the six-month extension granted to the UK.

"My fear is that with this decision, the pressure to come to a cross-party agreement disappears", Mr Verhofstadt said, referring to the talks between Labour and the Conservatives to try and find a Brexit compromise.

"We have adopted the necessary contingency measures and we are ready for a no-deal Brexit", he told MEPs.

'If that happens, the Brexit Party won't win the European elections but it will win the general election because the betrayal will be so complete and utter, so I don't believe it's going to happen'.

The European Parliament's Brexit co-ordinator Guy Verhofstadt said the extension risked importing the "Brexit mess into the EU" and "poisoning" the European Parliament elections.

Meanwhile, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt Jeremy Hunt has said continuing Brexit "paralysis" will be "highly damaging" to the UK. "You can not drag out Brexit for a decade". The country "cannot" be treated as a second-category member state, he said.

He said: "I know that some have expressed fear that the United Kingdom might want to disrupt the EU's functioning during this time but the European Union 27 didn't give in to such fear and scaremongering".

The British government will resume talks with the main opposition Labour party this week on how to resolve the deadlock over Brexit, a senior minister, David Lidington, said on Sunday.

EU summit chair Donald Tusk called on Tuesday for the "dream" that Britain might give up on leaving the European Union not to be dismissed and urged politicians not to let exhaustion with Brexit negotiations make for a hasty exit.

"We can not give into fatalism", Tusk said in a report to the European Parliament.

"During the European Council one of the leaders warned us not to be dreamers, and that we shouldn't think that Brexit could be reversed", he said.

Parliament is now in recess for Easter, but cross-party talks between the government and Labour are expected to continue today at an official level.

Latest News