Moscow, Jan 16: EU leaders reacted with dismay on Tuesday to the Commons defeat of the Brexit deal, the result of two years of intense talks between London and Brussels. The deal on the terms of UK’s exit from the union and the future of their ties fell through with a vote of 432 to 202. Prime Minister Theresa May has until Monday to present her Plan B.
Reacting to the historic vote, French President Emmanuel Macron warned that Britons would be the biggest losers of a no-deal Brexit. "First option is no-deal, they say there will be no deal. This scares everyone but Britons will be the biggest lowers," he said.
The second option, Macron said, is improving the existing deal. Macron predicted that London would go for the second option but would eventually come to the third one, which is extending the exit process.
German Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz described Tuesday’s outcome as a sad day for both the United Kingdom and the European Union, but stressed Germany was ready for a no-deal scenario. "This is a bitter day for Europe. We are well prepared - but a hard Brexit would be the least attractive choice, for the EU and GB," he tweeted.
The Irish government said in a statement, obtained by the Irish Post, it regretted the defeat of the deal which it saw as the best way to avoid the return to a hard border on the island of Ireland, but stressed it was nonnegotiable. "The Irish Government recalls the clear position of the European Council at its meeting of December 13 when it stated that the Withdrawal Agreement is not open for negotiation," it read.
"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," it added.
Netherlands’ Prime Minister Mark Rutte said his country would step up preparations for a no-deal Brexit, adding his government and the union favored the withdrawal arrangement agreed by London and Brussels.
Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel warned Britons that the ball was in their court and that they needed to take responsibility for their decision. He said that in the coming days the Belgian customs agency would take steps to protect companies from Brexit fallout. (UNI)