The risk of a disorderly Brexit has increased since the Withdrawal Agreement was turned down by British MPs on Tuesday evening, arousing dismay and regret by European Union (EU) leaders.
German Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz described Tuesday as “a bitter day for Europe,” adding that “a hard Brexit would be the least attractive choice for the EU and GB (Great Britain)” on Twitter, but said Germany was ready for a no-deal Brexit. French President Emmanuel Macron warned that Britons might be the biggest losers of a no-deal Brexit and wished them “good luck.”
“We’ve reached the maximum of what we could do with the deal and we won’t – just to solve Britain’s domestic political issues – stop defending European interests,” said Macron, adding that he believes British leaders will try to renegotiate the deal with the EU.
The British Parliament rejected the Brexit deal in a 432-202 vote on Tuesday. Prime Minister Theresa May has three sitting days to return to parliament with a “Plan B.” Jean-Claude Juncker, the European Commission president, urged Britain to clarify its intentions, noting “time is almost up.”
“While we do not want this (disorderly withdrawal) to happen, the European Commission will continue its contingency work to help ensure the EU is fully prepared,” Juncker said.
The government of the Republic of Ireland also expressed concern for the vote result and possibility of a no-deal Brexit which would be a “bad outcome for everyone, not least in Northern Ireland.”
“Regrettably, the outcome of tonight’s vote increases the risk of a disorderly Brexit. Consequently the Government will continue to intensify preparations for such an outcome,” the Irish Government said in a statement. Affected by the vote, British pound plummeted against the U.S. dollar and the Euro on Tuesday but soon rebounded.
As the country holding the presidency of the EU Council, Romania called for unity among EU members, stressing that the EU will continue preparing for the worst variant of Brexit, said George Ciamba, Romanian minister of European Affairs. Britain is scheduled to leave the EU on March 29.__The Nation