The Spanish government has said that a clean, no deal Brexit is “almost impossible” to stop, as reactions come in from across the European Union to the resignation of Theresa May as prime minister.
“The hard Brexit seems an almost impossible reality to stop,” Spanish government spokesman Isabel Celaá said at a press conference on Friday.
“The Spanish government has contingency plans for all possible outcomes of the UK’s exit from Europe,” Ms Celaá added.
Countries across the EU have put in place planning to keep trade moving across the Channel as smoothly as possible should the UK leave the bloc on World Trade Organization (WTO) terms, including France, with the European Commission stating in March that it was ready for no deal.
The Commission said this morning that President Jean-Claude Juncker will “respect and establish working relations with any new prime minister”, but reiterated its intransigence on renegotiating the treaty, saying: “The European Council stated on 10 April 2019 that there can be ‘no opening of the Withdrawal Agreement’. It is the best and only deal possible.”
Martin Fietz, German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman, said: “The chancellor and May always worked together in a good and trusting relationship and would continued to do so while May remains in office.
“We and the EU as a whole, are interested in a good solution being found in Britain to the Brexit issue, and that means ‘an orderly exit’.”
‘The Worst Prime Minister Ever’ – Reactions to Theresa May’s Resignation Roll In https://t.co/TgwH6Ip6ff
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) May 24, 2019
While Mark Rutte, the prime minister of the Netherlands who is considered Mrs May’s closest ally amongst the leaders of EU nations, tweeted: “I extend my thanks and respect to Theresa May. The United Kingdom and the Netherlands are closely linked. The agreement reached between the EU and the United Kingdom for an ordered Brexit remains on the table.”
The matter of the Irish backstop has become the most controversial aspect of the withdrawal treaty as it threatens to keep Northern Ireland in regulatory alignment with the EU should London and Brussels not finalise a future trade deal by the end of the transition period.
The statements by Eurocrats and European leaders insisting that the deal cannot be altered and remains “on the table” as it is comes after senior Tories and a Whitehall think tank said that a pro-Brexit prime minister may not need to hold any other ‘meaningful votes’ in the House of Commons to pass a deal or leave with no deal.