02:01 GMT +320 October 2019
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    European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May arrive at a European Union leaders summit in Brussels, Belgium, March 22, 2018.

    Irish Gov't Dismisses PM May’s Threat, Claims UK Can't Afford Hard Brexit

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    A top Irish politician has dismissed UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s threat to withdraw from the European Union without a deal as “bravado.”

    Irish Deputy Prime Minister Simon Coveney has warned that Britain cannot afford to leave the EU without a post-Brexit trade deal in place as the economic cost of such an arrangement would be too high for the UK.

    “I have heard a lot of comment on this issue in recent weeks and, to be honest with you, I think some of it is bravado. The truth is that I don’t believe Britain can afford to have no deal on Brexit. I don’t believe that Ireland and the EU want that either,” the Irish deputy PM said.

    READ MORE: Jeremy Corbyn Slams UK Government's Industrial Policy, Reliance on Imports

    Mr. Coveney, who also serves as Ireland’s foreign minister, urged PM May to delay Brexit if needed, insisting that the UK government shouldn’t approve a hard Brexit under any circumstances, saying, “The negative implications of a no-deal Brexit are very significant for Ireland and for the United Kingdom. We all have an obligation to make sure that that does not happen.”

    He also said his government would assist the UK is extending Article 50 to give more time for Brexit negotiations to ensure a hard Brexit doesn’t occur, describing Ireland as “one of Britain’s big allies” in Brexit talks.

    Earlier this month, the UK’s financial regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), told banks to prepare for a no-deal Brexit. This warning came just days after research by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicted Britain’s economy to be significantly more disrupted than the EU’s by a hard Brexit.

    READ MORE: UK Economy to Suffer More Than EU in Case of 'No Deal' Brexit — IMF


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