August 19, 2019 / 10:31 AM / a month ago

EU says ready for no-deal Brexit, 'British would be the biggest losers'

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Commission said on Monday that the EU was ready for a no-deal Brexit and that Britain would suffer most under such a scenario.

Speaking at a regular daily briefing, Commission spokeswoman Natasha Bertaud said a no-deal UK exit would never be the EU’s preferred scenario, adding that the Brussels-based executive saw no need for additional contingency preparations at this stage.

“This will obviously cause significant disruption both for citizens and for businesses and this will have a serious negative economic impact,” Bertaud said of any abrupt split.

“That would be proportionally much greater in the United Kingdom than it would be in the EU 27 states.”

She cited Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker as having said that if it came to a no-deal Brexit “it is the British who will unfortunately be the biggest losers”.

In London on Monday, the opposition Labour Party demanded that the U.K. parliament be recalled from its summer break to discuss steps to mitigate Brexit disruptions after leaked government documents forecast possible food, fuel and medicine shortages should Britain crash out from the bloc.

Reporting by John Chalmers and Alissa de Carbonnel, Writing by Gabriela Baczynska; Editing by Gareth Jones

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