FRANCE has stepped up its preparations for a no-deal Brexit after Theresa May delayed a vote on her controversial divorce deal in the House of Commons today.
French Europe minister Nathalie Loiseau expressed concern after the Prime Minister’s actions and insisted Paris is now focused on ensuring the country is ready for Britain crashing out of the EU without a deal. Mrs May announced a delay to the so-called ‘Meaningful Vote’ because she was facing a defeat by a “significant margin”. Ms Loiseau now believes a no-deal divorce is “not unlikely” and urged other European leaders to follow France by stepping up their preparations.
Speaking to reporters in Brussels, she said: “We are very concerned about the delay in the vote on the withdrawal agreement, because this withdrawal agreement is the best deal possible, it is even the only possible agreement.
“It has been negotiated for months. The European Union has made a lot of concessions to make this withdrawal agreement possible.
“Today we are not accountable for the British political situation, the heads of state and government will meet on Thursday and Friday and will discuss between them.
“But our responsibility as leaders is also to prepare for a no deal because it is a hypothesis that is not unlikely.”
Last night, the French national assembly passed a bill that allows the country to prepare for the consequences of a hard Brexit through swifter decrees.
Paris will now able to fill the legal void facing around 150,000 Britons who have decided to make their home in France.
According to a French government study, around 52 percent of those Britons are in work and many would have faced immediate dismissal in a no-deal scenario.
Ministers have promised to rewrite laws to allow those Britons working in the public service to keep their jobs.
Decrees will also be signed to allow Eurostar trains to continue running between London and France through the Channel Tunnel.