The Guardian reports that Britain’s foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has warned there is a risk of the UK leaving the EU in March 2019 without a deal because of stalling by the bloc’s negotiators, and that British views of Europe would sour as a result.
Speaking in Berlin on his first overseas trip since being appointed to the role earlier in July, Hunt told his German counterpart, Heiko Maas, that “there is now a very real threat of a Brexit no deal by accident, and this is because many people in the EU are thinking that they just have to wait long enough and Britain will blink”.
In comments directed over the head of Germany’s social democrat foreign minister towards Brussels, Hunt said: “Without a real change in approach from the EU negotiators we do now face a real risk of a no deal by accident, and that would be incredibly challenging economically.
“Britain would find that challenging, but in the end we would find a way not just to survive but to thrive economically. But my real concern is that it would change British public attitudes to Europe for a generation.”
The foreign secretary later tweeted that the only person happy with a no-deal Brexit would be Russian president Vladimir Putin.