France preparing for every Brexit scenario - Minister
Brexit – Excerpts from the interview given by Mme Nathalie Loiseau, Minister for European Affairs, to Radio Classique Paris, 8 February 2019
Q. – So, precisely, you were talking about Brexit; what’s going to happen on 29 March? Is something going to happen or is nothing going to happen, since it’s the official date for leaving, for Brexit? It seems very complicated. (…)
THE MINISTER – Obviously something unprecedented is going to happen: a member state is going to leave the European Union.
Q. – On 29 March, is that certain?
THE MINISTER – The UK is going to leave on 29 March, there’s no reason to suppose this date will be put back. (…)
Q. – It’s got off to a bad start.
THE MINISTER – With a text which was agreed by the British government, but which the British government, at this stage, hasn’t managed to get ratified by its parliament. It’s a British decision, it’s for the British to decide if they want to leave smoothly, with a transition period, or if they want to leave brutally, with all the risks that entails for them. We’re preparing for every scenario, we’ve taken all the necessary steps to ensure that whatever the type of Brexit, the interests of the French people – particularly those of French businesses, but also of the British people living on our soil and who are welcome – are safeguarded.
Q. – Do you think that the British should vote again, if it goes to deadlock?
THE MINISTER – It’s for them to say, it’s certainly not for French people to tell the British what they should do; I don’t see any high-ranking political leaders in the UK today saying this, so I think what will happen is that the UK will leave. Will the British say to themselves in the future that they’d like to return to the European Union after all? Nobody knows. What the European Union has to do is to continue moving forward, to reform, to overhaul itself, because there are many things to look at again in the European Union. Perhaps in the future it will be more attractive to the British. What I’d like is for us to have a close link with a country which is so close and a partner which is so important to us. (…)./.