BRUSSELS, Jan 8 (Reuters) - Britain should opt for a hard Brexit if the European Union does not offer an agreement on financial services, British member of the European Parliament Nigel Farage said on Monday before a meeting with the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator.
Farage, a former leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) who campaigned for Britain to leave the EU, noted that without a deal on financial services, Britain might just as well base its future relations with the EU on World Trade Organisation rules, or what its called the hard Brexit option.
Speaking to reporters before a meeting with the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, Farage said:
“Are we going to get a sensible deal on services and in particular financial services? Because if we’re not... going to get that then,... we may as well go, just getting out of this thing and going to WTO rules.”
“My guess is that’s why the prime minister is going to appoint a minister for a no deal Brexit, so he (Barnier) needs to understand that actually this is a serious opinion within the United Kingdom and, boy, it would do actually quite real damage,” Farage said. (Reporting by Christopher Stern, Jan Strupczewski and Philip Blenkinsop)