The European Commission Chief Spokesperson, Margaritis Schinas, was asked whether the EU would be forced to install their own ‘No Deal’ minister if Theresa May created one.
Reports in the UK today claimed that Mrs May will task a Brexiteer in David Davis’ department with preparing Britain for a no deal scenario.
Mr Schinas claimed that such a move was pure speculation – but revealed that the EU already had ‘director generals’ working on such a scenario.
He suggested that the EU had effectively already appointed such a role, downplaying what many Brexiteers termed a “stark message to Brussels”.
Mrs May’s new possible minister delighted Brexiteers today, who claim a No Deal Minister will ensure the EU take seriously the possibility of Brexit talks falling apart.
The Tory hardliners have argued that the Prime Minister should demonstrate to the EU that she is prepared to walk away from the Brexit talks.
A journalist asked Mr Juncker’s spokesman today:” The UK will have a minister for Brexit in case of a no deal – will they have a counterpart in the Commission?”
Mr Schinas responded: “Let’s see if this is more than speculation. I will not go into it until after the reshuffle.
“But, a long time ago, we set up an external and internal network of director generals who are working on all aspects of all possible outcomes – other than the negotiations per say – who have months has been busy preparing for all possible outcomes, including a no deal.”
The new minister would be based in the Department for Exiting the European Union alongside David Davis, the Brexit Secretary.
However, they will work solely on preparations for leaving the EU without a trade deal.
The figure – tipped to be Steve Baker – would attend Cabinet and control a significant budget, but would not be a full secretary of state.