The EU will not be "intimidated by threats" of no deal between the bloc and Britain, European Union Council President Donald Tusk declared on Wednesday (15 March). The Polish politician argued that such a scenario would be bad for both the EU and the UK.
"We will not be intimidated by threats that no Brexit deal is good for UK [and] bad for [the] EU. No deal bad for everyone, above all for UK," he told his Twitter followers. "[I] will do everything in my power to make sure that UK, EU are close friends after Brexit and stress that EU's door will always remain open."
The comments were a thinly-veiled attack on UK Prime Minister Theresa May, who definitely told the EU that "'no deal is better than a bad deal for Britain". The row comes after the Article 50 bill passed through parliament on Monday evening.
The draft legislation will receive Royal Assent and pass into law over the "coming days", according to May. The Conservative premier is expected to invoke Article 50 at the end of March and trigger two-year-long divorce talks with the EU.
If the UK fails to secure an agreement with the economic and political bloc after that time period, it will be forced to trade on default World Trade Organisation rules with the EU.
"Far from taking back control, leaving Britain to World Trade Organisation rules would mean losing control, jobs and frankly losing out," Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said on Tuesday.
"So, when the prime minister says 'no deal is better than a bad deal', let me be clear: no deal is a bad deal."
A bill to:
Confer power on the Prime Minister to notify, under Article 50(2) of the Treaty
on European Union, the United Kingdom's intention to withdraw from the
Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and
consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present
Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—
1 Power to notify withdrawal from the EU
(1)The Prime Minister may notify, under Article 50(2) of the Treaty on European
Union, the United Kingdom's intention to withdraw from the EU.
(2)This section has effect despite any provision made by or under the European
Communities Act 1972 or any other enactment.
2 Short title
This Act may be cited as the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Act