A day after warning of the need to be ready for a no-deal Brexit, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov said that his country always had wanted the UK’s departure from the EU to take place with a deal.
On March 13, Borissov said in a Facebook post: “The EU has spent a lot of effort and time on a deal for the withdrawal of the UK and has done its job. Now we have to be ready for a no-deal scenario”.
On March 14, speaking at the Seventh Global Baku Forum in Azerbaijan, Borissov described the EU as the “best place to live”.
The EU was a place to which there was no alternative, Borissov said: “Freedom of speech, and democracy, and the rule of law”.
“That is why we have always striven to have Brexit with a deal or a treaty. To have rules,” he said.
Borissov told the forum that in just the previous 10 days, he had spoken twice to British Prime Minister Theresa May.
“We have made enormous efforts with the colleagues from the EU – with Jean-Claude Juncker, (Antonio) Tajani, Donald Tusk,” Borissov said, referring respectively to the presidents of the European Commission, European Parliament and European Council.
“We all agreed to debate again,” Borissov said.
He said, however, that at the moment there was no basis to be an optimist about the topic, and if matters come to a no-deal Brexit, that concerned millions of people, and the consequences would be heavy for everyone.
Borissov’s comments came several hours before the House of Commons was due to vote on whether to request an extension of Article 50.
Leaders of the EU and its member states have mostly said they are open to the idea of an extension, but only if Britain can justify its request to postpone the Brexit date, barely two weeks away. An extension requires unanimous approval from the 27 remaining EU members, Deutsche Welle reported.
European Council President Tusk said Britain would have to provide a “credible justification” for any request for a delay.
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