December 20, 2018 / 6:54 AM / a month ago

Britain can still hold a second Brexit referendum - French minister

FILE PHOTO: Nathalie Loiseau, French Minister attached to the Foreign Affairs Minister, attends the questions to the government session at the National Assembly in Paris, June 13, 2018. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) - Britain can still hold a second Brexit referendum, France’s European Affairs Minister Nathalie Loiseau said on Thursday.

“The door remains open, but it will be up to them to choose, not us,” Loiseau told French TV station CNews.

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair is among those leading calls for a second Brexit referendum as Prime Minister Theresa May faces deadlock in parliament over her deal to leave the European Union.

May has consistently ruled out a second referendum as an option.

France was also taking measures to minimise any potential impact if Britain were to leave the EU without a Brexit deal, Loiseau said, repeating previous statements to that effect.

In October, French Budget Minister Gerald Darmanin said France was hiring 700 additional customs officers and extra border control facilities in case Britain left the EU without a Brexit deal.

Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Inti Landauro and Raissa Kasolowsky

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