PARIS: France is preparing support measures for sectors that would be impacted by a no-deal Brexit “just in case” negotiations fall through, European Affairs Minister Clement Beaune said Thursday.
He told France Inter radio he was “worried” about the outcome of ongoing talks, but said “I believe an agreement is still possible”.
Beaune said a deal would not be sought at all costs, however.
“A bad deal, which would yield too much to the British, which would give them access to our market without having to respect our sanitary, climate and other rules… would be much worse” than no deal at all, he insisted.
France, in the meanwhile, was preparing support measures for sectors such as fishing and tourism, said Beaune.
On Wednesday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he had full confidence negotiations would avoid a “no-deal” Brexit even as talks are deadlocked.
And on Monday, British lawmakers gave their initial approval to a controversial bill that overrides parts of the divorce treaty agreed with Brussels last year.
Beaune said that if the legislation was a negotiating tactic known as madman theory — which seeks to scare adversaries into submission by giving off an air of dangerous recklessness — “it won’t work” in the face of European unity.
The EU has said the bill amounts to a breach of international law and demands it be withdrawn. — AFP