EU would prefer a Brexit deal but ready for no deal, says Breton

FILE PHOTO: European Union Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton holds a video news conference, to present a "White Paper" to better arm the EU against unfair competition from heavily subsidised foreign companies, at the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium June 17, 2020. Kenzo Tribouillard/Pool via REUTERS

PARIS (Reuters) - The European Union would prefer to have a Brexit deal, but it is ready in case no agreement can be reached, the Commissioner for the EU’s single market, Thierry Breton, told BFM business radio on Tuesday.

Britain, the world’s sixth-biggest economy, left the EU in January and has since been locked in painstaking talks with the world’s largest trading bloc to keep trade flowing freely.

EU leaders are holding a summit in Brussels on Thursday and Friday to assess progress, and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he wants to know by Oct. 15 if a deal can be reached.

“We prefer a deal but not at any price and if there is no deal, we are ready,” Breton said.

“Our customs are ready for a no-deal and it is urgent that British customs also prepare for it,” he added.

Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Andrew Heavens