Jean-Claude Juncker: No-deal Brexit would be UK's responsibility

Jean-Claude Juncker: No-deal Brexit would be UK's responsibility

The President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker has said if the UK left the EU without a deal, Britain would be to blame.

Mr Juncker told a German newspaper that he and Michel Barnier, are "doing everything possible" to get an agreement.

He told the Augsburger Allgemeine newspaper: "Our chief negotiator Michel Barnier and I are doing everything possible to get an agreement."

"But if we don't succeed in the end, the responsibility would lie exclusively on the British side."

The Tánaiste Simon Coveney will meet Mr Barnier, the EU's chief Brexit negotiator, in Brussels today.

Mr Coveney said he will speak to him about the Government's recent meetings with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

The Tánaiste insists if there is to be a new deal before the current Brexit deadline of October 31, it must achieve the same outcome as the backstop.

Meanwhile, the chief executive of the Killybegs Fishermen’s Organisation has warned that a no-deal Brexit could mean the loss of between 3,000 and 4,000 jobs in the fishing industry.

Sean O’Donoghue was speaking to RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland following detailed discussions with the Mr Barnier.

“As a former fisheries minister Mr Barnier understands the complexities,” said Mr Donoghue.

He also warned that it was inevitable that there will be clashes at sea if an agreement is not reached on fishing rights before October 31.

Last year’s blockade in the English Channel between British and French fishermen on the issue of scallops “would be in the ha’penny place” compared to the clashes he anticipates over Irish and UK fishing rights.

Mr Donoghue said that his members want an understanding between UK and Irish (EU) fishermen that they can continue to fish in each other's waters until a formal agreement is reached in event of a no-deal Brexit.

In the event of a no-deal Brexit there will have to be “substantial” financial aid for the fishing industry, he said.

The indications are that there will be financial aid, but fishermen would prefer to continue doing what they have done for years, added Mr Donoghue.

More on this topic

Sides inch closer to new Brexit agreementSides inch closer to new Brexit agreement

Brexit talks: Deal that's not welcome but tolerableBrexit talks: Deal that's not welcome but tolerable

Campaigners to launch bid to ban UK Government from putting Brexit deal before MPsCampaigners to launch bid to ban UK Government from putting Brexit deal before MPs

Protest against Brexit held along border crossing pointsProtest against Brexit held along border crossing points