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UK Downplays French Threat to Halt Travel to Britain if No-Deal Brexit Happens

© AP Photo / PRNewsFoto/Rail Europe, Inc.Eurostar Train at Paris Gare Du Nord Station (File)
Eurostar Train at Paris Gare Du Nord Station (File) - Sputnik International
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Last month, British Prime Minister Theresa May pointed out that there would be harsh consequences if the UK crashed out of the EU without a deal, but that "it would not be the end of the world."

France's European Affairs Minister Nathalie Loiseau has warned that Eurostar trains heading from London to Paris may not be allowed into France in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

"If we do nothing, and if we reach no agreement, this is what would happen among other examples. We cannot wake up on March 30 and say to our fellow citizens and to our business: 'Wow we thought it would never happen so we are not ready,'" she said, adding that planes from Britain could also be prevented from entering French airspace.

READ MORE: No-Deal Brexit Would be 'Mistake We'll Regret for Generations' — Jeremy Hunt

In this vein, she signaled France's resistance to a blindfold Brexit, underscoring a "need for clarity and perspective for our fellow citizens and for our businesses" when it comes the UK's withdrawal from the EU.

A spokesperson for UK prime minister, in turn, played down Loiseau's remarks about Eurostar trains being blocked in the event of a no-deal Brexit, saying, "It's not in anybody's interest for that to happen."

The spokesperson was echoed by a representative of the UK Department for Transport, who underscored the importance of maintaining "the existing liberal level of transport access" during the department's upcoming talks with the EU.

READ MORE: Britons in EU May Lose Access to UK Bank Accounts Under No-Deal Brexit — Reports

"Both the UK and the EU reap significant benefits from the arrangements currently in place and it is in no one's interests for planes and trains to be turned away," the representative underlined. 

As for Loiseau's warning, it comes a week after a secret Treasury document reportedly admitted that there were questions about "rail access to the EU" if Britain crashes out of the EU without clinching a deal.

READ MORE: UK's No-Deal Brexit Scenario Faces Risk Due to Skilled Staff Shortage — Reports

European Union's Chief Brexit Negotiator, French Michel Barnier, in charge of the preparation and conduct of the negotiations with Britain under article 50 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) speaks during a press conference on December 6, 2016, at the European Commission in Brussells. - Sputnik International
EU Chief Negotiator Slams UK Government for No-Deal Brexit ‘Blame Game’
Earlier, British Prime Minister Theresa May urged the country's government to make a success of a no-deal Brexit scenario "just as we can make a success of a good deal."

With the deadline for the Brexit deal approaching, the parties are still at odds over the major withdrawal issue of post-Brexit customs arrangements.
The UK voted to leave the EU in a referendum in 2016. The Brexit negotiations officially started in June 2017 and are expected to be completed by the end of March 2019.

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