Merkel: We still have time to negotiate on Brexit
The German chancellor said ‘we will of course do everything to find an orderly solution, but we are also prepared if there is no orderly solution’.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said there is still time for negotiations between the European Union and Britain over its departure from the bloc.
Mrs Merkel said she regretted the decision by British MPs to oppose the agreement negotiated by Prime Minister Theresa May and the EU.
She told reporters in Berlin that “we will of course do everything to find an orderly solution, but we are also prepared if there is no orderly solution”.
Mrs Merkel said “we still have time to negotiate, but we are now waiting to see what the British Prime Minister proposes”.
In Finland, Prime Minister Juha Sipila urged all British citizens living in the Nordic country to immediately register at the immigration service to make sure they receive a living permit in case of a no-deal Brexit.
Mr Sipila told Finnish news agency STT that the temporary permit will be issued so that the 5,000 Britons currently living in the country of 5.5 million can continue their stay if Britain exits the European Union without a deal.
He said the likelihood of a no-deal Brexit has increased as a result of the British Parliament’s decision to reject Mrs May’s deal.
The Finnish government’s social benefits office Kela said there may be major changes to what social benefits British citizens in Finland may be entitled to in case of a Brexit without an agreement, but did not provide details.
In France, a top border police official said checks of the English Channel for illegal immigration would not change after Britain leaves the EU on March 29.
Franck Toulliou, the second-in-command of France’s Air and Frontier Police, said French authorities will continue monitoring freight trucks that migrants try to hop on to in Calais before the vehicles enter the tunnel that leads to England.
French maritime authorities are also cracking down on boats carrying migrants, which the area has seen a recent spike in.
Mr Toulliou warned that Brexit will affect travellers with British passports seeking to enter France since they will no longer be EU residents.
Also in France, wine and spirits makers warned that Britain crashing out of the EU without a deal could hurt trade.
This vote is prejudicial to the historical and fruitful commercial relationship between our countries Antoine Leccia, federation of French wine and spirits exporters
The federation of French wine and spirits exporters (FEVS) said “the spectre of a no deal could have serious consequences for the economy and the citizens of both parties”.
According to the federation, Britain is France’s second-biggest destination for exports of spirits and wine, and France imports a large quantity of British spirits.
FEVS president Antoine Leccia said: “This vote is prejudicial to the historical and fruitful commercial relationship between our countries.”