EU chief Jean-Claude Juncker warns 'everybody will lose' if Brussels and UK don't secure a Brexit deal

Chief negotiator Michel Barnier added EU wants success with, and ‘not against’, the United Kingdom

Joe Watts
Political Editor
Wednesday 05 April 2017 09:40 BST
Jean-Claude Juncker warned ‘no deal’ would be bad for everyone
Jean-Claude Juncker warned ‘no deal’ would be bad for everyone (EPA)

Jean-Claude Juncker has warned that “everybody will lose” if Brussels and the UK do not secure a Brexit deal.

The President of the European Commission said a failure to reach an agreement would be the “worst possible outcome” for people on both sides of the Channel.

He spoke alongside Brussels chief negotiator Michel Barnier in the European Parliament, as the body debated ahead of a vote that will make it the first EU institution to formalise its negotiating position for Brexit talks.

But his comments also come after Chancellor Philip Hammond warned there are people on both sides of negotiations that want to scupper any chance of a deal.

Mr Juncker said: “No deal means no winners. Everybody will lose.

“That’s why we will proceed with negotiations with the UK to try to reduce the damage caused to people, to trade, and to societies.

“Will we miss the UK? Yes, but without naivety.”

Mr Barnier, who Mr Juncker appointed as lead negotiator in head-to-head talks with the UK’s Brexit Secretary David Davis, spoke in the debate to warn that disunity among EU members “could lead to no deal”.

I hope Britain will rejoin EU after Brexit, European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker says

He added: “The no-deal scenario is not the scenario we’re looking for. We’re looking for success not against the United Kingdom, but with the United Kingdom.”

Mr Hammond warned while on a trip to India that there would almost definitely be “tensions” as Theresa May tries to push forward with a plan to secure the “best possible deal” for the UK as it leaves the EU.

He said: “There are definitely some people on both sides who do not want a deal, they do not want to see Britain continuing to collaborate in what the Prime Minister described in a letter as a deep and special partnership with the European Union.”

Mr Hammond went on: “I’m clear the objective from the UK side is to reach a deal and what I’m hearing from my counterparts in Europe is that is their objective.

“Those people who are hoping for no deal, I say we have to disprove their thinking by showing there is clear goodwill on the Europe side to reach a deal.”

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