Brexit news: European Parliament President lashes out over no deal Brexit possibility | UK | News


Addressing reporters in Brussels, David Sassoli, the new European Parliament President warned Boris Johnson a no deal Brexit scenario would be entirely his fault. Mr Sassoli reminded the UK Prime Minister he will still be bound to financial obligations to the EU and to the respect of citizens rights if he fails to agree to a Brexit deal with the EU. He said: “The resolution stresses the concern of the Parliament on recent developments in the debate in the United Kingdom and the breaking off of the negotiations, which do bring us closer to the possibility of a no deal.

“We believe there is too much rigidity and this rigidity is something that’s been rectified into the date of the 31st of October.

“The resolution says that if there is a no deal departure that will be entirely the responsibility of the United Kingdom.

“And of course it will still be bound to its financial obligations and they need to respect the rights of the citizens as well as the Good Friday Agreement.

“The resolution is absolutely unambiguous on this matter.”

President Sassoli also said the bloc was ready to make the offer if the Prime Minister can secure the support of MPs.

He fumed that British negotiators have failed to put forward any new proposals to prevent customs checks on the Irish border.

The measure would see Northern Ireland kept in the EU’s customs union and parts of the single market.

Mr Sassoli told reporters: “I’d like to stress this point. The United Kingdom hasn’t really proposed any alternatives.

“We are willing to go back to the original EU proposal… which is that a backstop will only be provided for Northern Ireland.”

Speaking ahead of the European Parliament press conference this morning, Prime Minister Boris Johnson sought to downplay the impact of a no-deal Brexit following the release of Operation Yellowhammer assessments.

He said: “It is very important to understand what this document is: this is a worst-case scenario which civil servants obviously have to prepare for, but in the last few months, and particularly in the 50 days since I’ve been Prime Minister, we’ve been massively accelerating our preparations.

“We’re trying to get a deal and I’m very hopeful that we will get a deal with our European friends on October 17th or 18th or thereabouts.

“But if we have to come out on October 31st with no-deal we will be ready and the ports will be ready and the farming communities will be ready, and all the industries that matter will be ready for a no-deal Brexit.

“What you’re looking at here is just the sensible preparations – the worst-case scenario – that you’d expect any government to do.

“In reality, we will certainly be ready for a no deal Brexit if we have to do it and I stress again that’s not where we intend to end up.”

The Prime Minister will return to Brussels on October 17 for the next European Council summit where he will have his last chance to strike a deal in time for an October 31 exit.

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