Germany: No Brexit deal with the EU would be bad for Britain

Darren McCaffrey, Political Correspondent

The German Foreign Minister has publicly disagreed with Boris Johnson on how bad no Brexit deal would be for the UK.

On a visit to London, Sigmar Gabriel said Britain will come off worse if it leaves the European Union without any agreement, despite the Foreign Secretary reiterating it would be perfectly OK.

Berlin's Foreign Minister said: "Having no deal is not the best idea for Britain and the European Union.

"It would bring a burden on both sides, for the Brits as well as the Europeans.

"My personal opinion is that the burden for the Brits is higher than for the Europeans."

Both men agreed that the talks should begin on a positive basis and that that should set the tone for the two-year negotiations.

Mr Gabriel said Germany wanted to see a deal which held Britain "as close as possible" to the EU.

"The objective has to be to work for a good relationship because we will need to rely on each other in the future," he said.

However, Mr Gabriel stressed the UK could not expect to enjoy the same advantages after Brexit as it did as a member.

"Of course we want to see negotiations about Brexit being fair," he said.

"Fair for Britain, but also from our point of view, fair for the remaining 27 members of the European Union.

"No-one should be left with the impression that the advantages of membership of the European Union can be used by people who are not members of the European Union."

The marks followed a report from the Exiting the European Union Committee, which suggested the Prime Minister needed to do more to consider the impact of failing to get a deal with the EU, after she claimed that "no deal is better than a bad deal".

The report suggests this claim is "unsubstantiated".

The conclusions have led to division among the Commons committee, with the report only gaining the backing of 10 out of the 16-strong group, with one Brexit-supporting MP describing the document as "rushed, skewed and partisan".

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