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Barnier says UK will 'face consequences' of no-deal Brexit as OBR warns of recession

By Frank Prenesti

Date: Thursday 18 Jul 2019

Barnier says UK will 'face consequences' of no-deal Brexit as OBR warns of recession

(Sharecast News) - Britain would have to "face the consequences" of a no-deal Brexit, said European Union chief negotiator Michel Barnier.
His comments, made in a BCC interview in May for broadcast tonight (CHK) directly rebutted claims by both men vying to be the next UK prime minister that they would use no-deal to leverage a renegotiated agreement.

"I think that the UK side, which is well informed and competent and knows the way we work on the EU side, knew from the very beginning that we've never been impressed by such a threat," Barnier said, adding: "It's not useful to use it."

Barnier's remarks came as the UK's spending watchdog said the country was likely to fall into recession next year if there was a no-deal.

The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) said economic growth could fall by 2% by the end of 2020 due to increased uncertainty and falling confidence which would deter investment and hit trade.

"Together, these push the economy into recession, with asset prices and the pound falling sharply," the OBR said in In its latest fiscal risks report, the OBR said:

Both Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt, the Tory leadership contenders, have said they were prepared to leave without a deal.

In another BBC interview for the same programme, European commission vice-president Frans Timmermans was scathing of the UK's negotiators, accusing them of "running around like idiots" and comparing them to characters in the British television comedy 'Dad's Army' about bumbling Home Guard soldiers.

"We thought they are so brilliant," Timmermans said in a March interview. "That in some vault somewhere in Westminster there will be a Harry Potter-like book with all the tricks and all the things in it to do."

This optimistic opinion changed after seeing the then Brexit secretary David Davis.

"And then the first time I saw public utterances by David Davis and I saw him not coming, not negotiating, grandstanding elsewhere [and] I thought, 'Oh my God, they haven't got a plan, they haven't got a plan.'," Timmermans said.

"That was really shocking frankly, because the damage if you don't have a plan - you know, we see it - time's running out and you don't have a plan, it's like Lance Corporal Jones (in Dad's Army) - you know, 'Don't panic, don't panic,' running around like idiots."


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