1st April 2023
Bollocks to Brexit bus
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Brexit deal defeat: EU reactions

The EU and European governments have warned that the British parliament’s rejection of a Brexit deal heightened the risk of a disorderly withdrawal from the bloc.

After UK MPs voted by a massive 432 to 202 votes against the agreement, the European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, said, ‘I urge the United Kingdom to clarify its intentions as soon as possible. Time is almost up.’

‘The Withdrawal Agreement is a fair compromise and the best possible deal. It reduces the damage caused by Brexit for citizens and businesses across Europe. It is the only way to ensure an orderly withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union.

‘The risk of a disorderly withdrawal of the United Kingdom has increased with this evening’s vote. While we do not want this to happen, the European Commission will continue its contingency work to help ensure the EU is fully prepared.’

The EU Council president Donald Tusk said, ‘If a deal is impossible, and no one wants no deal, then who will finally have the courage to say what the only positive solution is?’ He added that the remaining EU27 ‘will remain united’.

Bollocks to Brexit bus
An anti-Brexit ‘battle bus’ arives past protestors outside the Houses of Parliament on 15 January 2019 before the vote on whether to support the Withdrawal Agreement. (Oli Scarff / AFP)

The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said, ‘It’s now up to the British government to say what the next stage is. The EU will remain united and determined to find a deal.’

In Spain, Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said that an unordered exit ‘would be negative for the EU and catastrophic for the UK.’

In France, President Emmanuel Macron, said that ‘the pressure is mainly on them [Britain]’ and that the British people would be ‘the biggest losers’ of a no-deal option.

‘Either way, we will have to negotiate a transition period with them because the British cannot afford to no longer have planes taking off or landing at home, and their supermarkets, as much as 70%, is supplied with (products) from continental Europe.’

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