The impact of a no-deal Brexit is in neither the U.K.’s nor the EU’s interest, Britain’s Brexit secretary said Monday.
Speaking to foreign reporters in London, Stephen Barclay said the impact would be “symmetric” across Europe.
For instance, "the impact of no-deal [Brexit] on Ireland, according to our analysis, is greater than the impact on the U.K.,” Barclay said.
Barclay said it would be in both sides’ interest to avoid a no-deal Brexit and they will look into ways of doing it, underlining that outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May tried to get her deal through the House of Commons three times but failed to do so.
However, Barclay said, the U.K. has continued its preparation for a no-deal scenario with more than 300 teams for the past two years.
Ruling out the idea of a second referendum on Britain leaving the EU, Barclay argued that such a vote would bring another year of “uncertainty.”
“It would be divisive but not necessarily decisive,” he warned.
The Brexit secretary also said the ongoing selection of top EU positions would certainly “change the dynamics” and that the U.K. is looking forward to building “constructive and sincere” cooperation with the new EU officials.
“Ultimately, regardless of where we go with Brexit, we share the same values, we will continue to be a European country,” he said.
“It is the EU institutions that we are leaving,” he added.
The U.K. is set to leave the EU on Oct. 31 as the previous deadlines in March and April were extended at the request of the U.K. government.
By Ahmet Gurhan Kartal in London