When asked about the possibility of London stepping back from its decision to divorce from the EU, French Europe Minister Nathalie Loiseau said the door would “remain open."
“We are not the ones who wanted to diverge from the United Kingdom,” she told the BBC Radio 4's "Today" program on Thursday.
Citing “no real significant progress” in Brexit negotiations, the French minister said that the bloc was preparing for a no-deal scenario and added that time was running out for Britain to negotiate a deal.
Loiseau put a no-deal Brexit scenario above a bad deal.
"I do remember Prime Minister May saying that no-deal was better than a bad deal. It’s among the bad solutions but I should say that no-deal is not as bad as a bad deal for the European Union as well."
Loiseau's comments come two days after Prime Minister Theresa May boosted her personal control over Brexit talks with the EU as responsibility for negotiating the departure from the bloc was moved to her team.
Dominic Raab was appointed Brexit secretary two weeks ago after his predecessor, David Davis, quit his cabinet job alongside Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, protesting against Theresa May's soft Brexit plan.
The Northern Irish border remains another pressing issue for the UK government as Brussels and London are deadlocked on the border backstop. While the former suggests that Northern Ireland should be part of the EU's single market, the latter argues that such a move would damage the country's "constitutional integrity." On Thursday, Chancellor Philip Hammond vowed there would be "strong resistance" to any new divergence in regulations between Northern Ireland and Great Britain.