French Minister Says Decision, Not More Time, Needed for Brexit

(Bloomberg) -- A decision is needed by Britain on its exit from the European Union, French European Affairs Minister Nathalie Loiseau said on Sunday, adding that extending the March 29 deadline for leaving the bloc would lead to uncertainty and worry.

The minister reiterated in an interview with France Inter radio that the accord negotiated between the EU and the U.K. was “the only one possible.”

French Minister Says Decision, Not More Time, Needed for Brexit

Loiseau added that if U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May wanted to reopen negotiations, on topics that had been closed such as the single market, then the EU “would be stupid not to say yes,” but such a move would need the backing of the British Parliament.

“If there is nothing new, more time won’t add anything apart from more uncertainty, and uncertainty leads to anxiety,” Loiseau said. “We don’t need time, we need a decision.”

The U.K. parliament is headed for a key vote on Tuesday on May’s Brexit deal, with expectations it will be rejected again, following an overwhelming defeat in January. The government plans a vote on Wednesday on a measure to leave the bloc on March 29 without a deal if May loses.

British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt told the BBC’s “Andrew Marr Show” earlier on Sunday that the option of leaving without a deal should not be taken off the table, and he appealed to the EU for “realism.’’

Loiseau said France is ready in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

“The British have said they want to leave the European Union without saying clearly where they want to go. We’re waiting for them,” she said. “They need to decide between a smooth separation, which is possible and which we’ve been working on for two years, and a brutal separation, which is not desirable but risks happening.”

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.