October 11, 2019 / 7:17 AM / 4 months ago

French minister: no-deal Brexit likely if Britain does not seek compromise

FILE PHOTO: Amelie de Montchalin, newly-appointed French Junior Minister for European affairs, leaves the Elysee Palace following the weekly cabinet meeting in Paris, France, April 1, 2019. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer/File Photo

(Reuters) - A no-deal Brexit is likely if Britain does not seek compromise, French Minister for European Affairs Amelie de Montchalin said on Friday.

Asked whether it was increasingly likely that Britain was heading towards leaving the European Union without securing a withdrawal agreement, de Montchalin said on France Inter radio: “It is likely”.

“At this point, if talks do not proceed the way we hope they will, if there is no desire, particularly from the British side, for compromise, then a no-deal is possible,” she added.

De Montchalin said an agreement was still possible and that talks between the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, and his British counterpart, Stephen Barclay, on Friday would continue exploring possibilities.

“We are working on a deal, not any deal and not at any conditions. We will not give in on the principles that we have laid out for two and a half years,” she said.

“We want peace in Ireland, we want to protect our companies from disloyal competition and we want our future relations (with Britain) to be balanced”, she said.

Reporting by Benoit Van Overstraeten and Jean-Stephane Brosse, Writing by Geert De Clercq; Editing by Angus MacSwan

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