January 23, 2019 / 9:38 AM / 8 months ago

EU's Moscovici says ball in UK court on Brexit

FILE PHOTO: European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs Pierre Moscovici attends a news conference in Paris, France, January 14, 2019. REUTERS/ Christian Hartmann

DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) - European Union Economic Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said on Wednesday that the risk of a no-deal Brexit had increased in last few weeks and it was up to the British to tell the EU how they proposed to break the impasse.

“Certainly the EU is there, the EU is waiting, the EU is ready but first we need to know clearly what are the British intentions and we need some clarifications from London,” Moscovici told Reuters at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

“Of course the door is always open for discussion but it’s not up to us to tell now the British side where it wants to go. The ball clearly is in the British side again. It’s not a problem that can be solved by Brussels, maybe in Brussels later, but it has to be first dealt with in London.”

Britain is due to leave the EU on March 29 but no agreement is yet in place on divorce terms and future relations, as parliament last week comprehensively rejected the deal that Prime Minister Theresa May had reached with Brussels.

Many British and EU businesses fear massive disruption if Brexit goes ahead in just over nine weeks’ time without a framework in place.

“Nobody wants a no-deal (Brexit), that is clear. The British parliament doesn’t want a no-deal, the British government doesn’t want a no-deal, and the EU is not willing a no-deal, so we need to explore all options which are not a no-deal,” Moscovici said.

Reporting by Johnny Cotton, writing by Mark Trevelyan, Editing by Catherine Evans

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