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Speech by Michel Barnier at the European Economic and Social Committee

On 6 July 2017, at the very start of the negotiations with the UK, I had the pleasure of addressing you. At the time, I said that everybody needed to prepare for Brexit.

I also said that, given the consequences of Brexit, it would not be business as usual: there can be no frictionless trade outside the Single Market and the Customs Union.

And finally, I also said to you that all of us needed to be ready, in any case, for a "no deal".

Ladies and gentlemen,

Eighteen months later, preparing for a "no-deal" scenario is more important than ever, even though I still hope that we can avoid this. The UK will become a third country on 29 March, just 65 days from now.


But my responsibility is to say what is at stake.

There are two possible ways to leave the EU:

  •  An orderly withdrawal based on the agreement that we have built step by step with the UK for the last 18 months.

  •  A disorderly withdrawal: leaving the EU without a deal is the default scenario.

There appears to be a majority in the House of Commons to oppose a "no deal". But opposing "no deal" will not stop "no deal" from happening at the end of March.

To stop "no deal", a positive majority for another solution will need to emerge. This is the objective of the political consultations that Theresa May has started. We hope that this process will be successful.

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.
by Oui on Wed Jan 23rd, 2019 at 06:24:36 PM EST

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