A top German Eurocrat has pledged to ensure the EU will treat the UK has ‘strong partners’ after admitting the EU has no ‘plan B’ if no deal is agreed.
Gunther Oettinger said eurocrats were relying on Michel Barnier to reach a deal with the UK so that we continue to contribute to the club’s coffers.
But member states are bitterly divided over the size of the bloc’s next seven-year budget, known as a Multi-Annual Financial Framework.
But a group of countries centred around the Netherlands, Austria and Sweden say the budget should be reduced to reflect Britain’s departure.
speaking at an event in Brussels, Mr Oettinger said: “Our expectation is the UK is willing to fulfil all obligations of an existing MFF which was accepted by David Cameron.
Asked if he expected Britain to honour the £39 billion Brexit bill even if there’s no deal, he said there “never ever was a destructive intervention from the UK’s side” in the talks.
He added: “So we have for the moment no reason to expect a totally different position in the next days, weeks or months.
No doubt it’s a polar game at this moment, and there are different interests.But in our EU27 I know nobody who would prefer a hard Brexit.
“We have to do our best to defend and to bring our legal and financial and political arguments but not to come to a worst case scenario.”