The United Kingdom will face more risks if it fails to withdraw from the EU than if it leaves the bloc without reaching a Brexit agreement, Britain's Brexit minister Stephen Barclay said on Wednesday.
"If you pushed me to the end point where it's a choice between no deal and no Brexit… I think no deal is going to be very disruptive for the economy and I think no deal also has serious questions for the union", Barclay told BBC radio.
His comment comes after earlier in the day the European Union's Economic Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said that the UK parliament has missed its "last chance" to reach a Brexit agreement.
"We have done everything we could do," Moscovici told France 2 broadcaster.
He also stressed that Britain now has to say what it wants as the recent failed vote reflects "what they don't want". He further noted that after this move, the EU has to begin actively preparing for Brexit.
In addition, the officials will reveal a list of imports that would face obligatory taxes starting 29 March — the date when the UK is set to leave the European Union. According to insiders' data cited by the Daily Mail, thousands of jobs may be lost if the fresh tariffs are imposed.
Pierre Moscovici's remarks follow a failed vote last night in the House of Commons as 391 MPs voted against and 242 approved her plan. Therefore, a fresh vote on a no-deal scenario is expected tonight; if it fails, then a vote on extending the Brexit deadline past March 29 will follow.
Prior to the vote, UK Prime Minister Theresa May agreed with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on "legally binding changes" to the text of the withdrawal agreement with the European Union including to the controversial Irish backstop provision, which would be complemented with "meaningful clarifications" and "legal guarantees". However, shortly after its publication, the leader of the UK Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, slammed the new arrangements regarding the Brexit deal.