June 1, 2017 / 1:44 PM / 3 years ago

Threats of a "no deal" Brexit are campaign rhetoric, Oettinger says

FILE PHOTO - A European Union flag is waved in front of Big Ben outside Parliament after Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May triggered the process by which the United Kingdom will leave the European Union in London, March 28, 2017. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

BERLIN (Reuters) - Tough rhetoric about the possibility of Britain walking out of the European Union without a deal is election campaign talk, the European Union’s budget commissioner Guenther Oettinger said, adding that he expected the next government would seek a deal.

“Our expectation is that the next government, whichever it is, will recognise the advantages of a full deal in the interests of the economy, the labour market and of people,” Oettinger told a forum on European affairs in Britain.

British Prime Minister Theresa May, who is seeking re-election on June 8, has said “no deal is better than a bad deal” for Britain when it leaves the EU, and has signalled a reluctance to pay “vast sums” to the bloc as part of an exit.

For the EU’s budget, Brexit could be an opportunity to get rid of budget rebates like the one Britain secured for itself as a member in the early 1980s, Oettinger added.

“There are chances in the disappearance of the rebate after Britain leaves,” Oettinger said. “It was the first big rebate, followed by many smaller ones. It gives us the chance to get rid of all of them. Not just the mother of rebates, but the child rebates too.”

Reporting By Thomas Escritt; Editing by Michelle Martin

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