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Britain Likely to Leave EU Without a Deal, Says Minister

Pro-Brexit International Trade Secretary Liam Fox said the chances of a no-deal Brexit were now "60-40", laying the blame on EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier.

Updated:August 5, 2018, 3:09 PM IST
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Britain Likely to Leave EU Without a Deal, Says Minister
File photo of Britain's Secretary of State for International Trade Liam Fox. (Reuters)
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London: Britain is now likely leave the European Union without a deal due to the "intransigence" of the European Union, International Trade Secretary Liam Fox told the Sunday Times.

The pro-Brexit minister said that the chances of a no-deal Brexit were now "60-40", laying the blame on EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier.

"I think the intransigence of the commission is pushing us towards no deal," he said in an interview with the Sunday Times.

"If the EU decides that the theological obsession of the unelected is to take priority over the economic wellbeing of the people of Europe then it's a bureaucrats' Brexit — not a people's Brexit — then there is only going to be one outcome."

He said that Barnier had rejected Prime Minister Theresa May's latest plan, agreed by her cabinet, on the grounds that "we have never done it before".

It was therefore up to the EU to "show us one that they can suggest that would be acceptable to us," said Fox.

"It's up to the EU27 to determine whether they want the EU Commission's ideological purity to be maintained at the expense of their real economies."

May met with French President Emmanuel Macron on the Mediterranean coast on Friday to lobby for her Brexit plan, which has divided her government and so far failed to win over EU negotiators.

The prime minister has just a few months before an agreement on Britain's divorce from the European Union -- set for March 29, 2019 -- must be forged in principle ahead of a EU summit in mid-October.
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