23:14 GMT21 October 2020
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    The first president of the European Council cautioned that breaking up with the EU without a deal could break up the United Kingdom.

    Former European Council President Herman Van Rompuy told the Observer that he believes that the no-deal threat is mostly a part of London’s tactics to escalate fear among the European nations with “operation fear” tactic. However, he said, it would not work with the EU and the outcome can end up dramatically for the UK, creating new challenges over Scottish independence.

    READ MORE: Second Brexit Referendum Not 'Off the Table' — Senior Labour MP

    “The no-deal issue is not just a problem for the UK or Brussels,” he pointed out, “it is also an existential threat to the UK itself. One can imagine that a no deal will have a big impact and cause concern in some of the regions. Speaking of Scotland, it could have consequences for them and others.”

    The Ex-European Council president also criticized UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s hopes for Britain to remain on a European single market for goods, but withdraw from the single market for services. “We are living in a new economy where there is a mix of goods and services for the same kinds of products,” he said noting it would be impossible to draw a distinction even with a customs union. The complete separation between these two services is "unworkable" Van Rompuy suggested, citing chief EU negotiator Barnier.

    He warned that a no-deal Brexit could lead to the change of government in case of the House of Commons not supporting this decision, which could lead to new elections. “If you have new elections, then article 50 will have to be postponed, because it will not be clear that you will have a government – or a government with a program,” former president said, claiming that he knows that the considerations about the withdraw from the EU without a deal exist “to put pressure on parts of the Conservative party.”

    The UK government had repeatedly said that it would take any necessary considerations to prepare for any kind of decision reached by the UK an EU. "We are confident of getting a good deal – one that delivers for every part of the United Kingdom and takes back control of our money, laws and our borders," a Downing Street spokeswoman told the Observer, responding to Van Rompuy claims that a responsible British government cannot be considering a no-deal seriously.

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    Tags:
    no-deal Brexit, Brexit negotiations, Brexit, EU, Herman Van Rompuy, EU, United Kingdom
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