Juncker issues warning to Johnson
A no-deal Brexit would hurt the United Kingdom more than the rest of Europe no matter how much Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government pretends otherwise, outgoing European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker pointed out in his remarks published during weekend.
“If it comes to a hard Brexit, that is in no one’s interest, but the British would be the big losers. They are acting as though that were not the case but it is,” Juncker told the Tiroler Tageszeitung newspaper.
The UK has been insisting Brussels to amend the terms of Britain’s Withdrawal agreement (WA), saying would have to take responsibility for failure of orderly departure, and no-deal Brexit if it does not accept a compromise.
At the end of the day that would cause the most harm to the UK, Juncker said to a regional newspaper in the Austrian province of Tyrol.
“We are fully prepared even though some in Britain say we are not well set up for a ‘no deal’. But I am not taking part in these little summer games,” Juncker added.
The European Union has reiterated the deal negotiated by the previous British government led by Prime Minister Theresa May will not be re-negotiated.
“We have made clear that we are not prepared to hold new negotiations on the Withdrawal Agreement but only to make certain clarifications in the framework of the political declarations that regulate future relations between the United Kingdom and European Union,” Juncker said.
“We are well prepared (for no deal) and I hope the British are too.”
Britain has been requesting the European Union to amend the terms of Britain’s Withdrawal Agreement, saying otherwise Brussels would be responsible for a no-deal Brexit if it does not take into consideration British interest.
The backstop, agreed between Brussels and May’s government, aims to keep the open border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, and would effectively keep Northern Ireland within the EU’s Single market, which is not compatible with British sovereignty.