Days after giving the UK a two week deadline to clarify key issues, like the size of the divorce bill, Mr Barnier told the French newspaper Le Journal Du Dimanche, the EU was expecting the talks to collapse.
“Everyone needs to plan for it, member states and businesses alike. We too are preparing for it technically,” Mr Barnier said. “A failure of the negotiations would have consequences on multiple domains.”
This was not his preferred option, he said.
All this coincides with reports that Prime Minister Theresa May’s government is in meltdown leading up to the next round of Brexit talks with the Sunday Times reporting that 40 Tory MPs have committed to signing a letter that would subject the PM to a confidence vote. That is eight short of the number required to trigger such a ballot.
It also coincides with the House of Commons about to begin the Committee stages of debate into the detail of the politically contentious Brexit Repeal Bill which repeals the European Communities Act of 1972 that gave effect and priority to EU law in the UK. The Bill faces a bumpy ride as over 400 amendments to the legislation have been proposed.