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EU's 'no deal' planning harming Brexit: UK Brexit minister

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Britain's Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union David Davis leaves 10 Downing Street, London, Britain, December 18, 2017. (Photo by Reuters)

UK Brexit Minister David Davis has criticized the European Union for preparing for a no-deal scenario once the country leaves the bloc, a new report reveals.

According to a letter published on Tuesday by The Financial Times, Davis who wrote to British Prime Minister Theresa May last month, criticized the EU for adopting measures in the event a deal is not reached before the UK's exit in March 2019.

The EU's approach “is frequently damaging to UK interests”, the Brexit minister wrote, the extracts published by the news outlet indicated.

Davis also disapproved of EU agencies for issuing guidance to businesses on the post-Brexit landscape without mentioning the possibility of a transition period.

May's spokesman declined to comment on the report.

Davis also warned the EU's current stance amounted to “potential breaches of the UK's rights as a member state.”

Brussels rejected Davis's complaint that Britain was being treated differently from other EU members.

"In the European Commission we are somehow surprised that the UK is surprised that we're preparing for a scenario announced by the UK government itself," Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas told journalists on Tuesday.

The EU-UK agreement on December 8 paved the way for the beginning of the second phase of negotiations of that deal with financial and security matters.

Negotiations on the transition period will resume in January.

Meanwhile, the government argues that the changes could endanger the chances of delivering a smooth departure from the EU, noting however that the "minor setback" would not prevent the UK leaving the EU in 2019.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon described the letter as "extraordinary.”

"A government intent on leaving EU and continually talking about prospect of 'no deal' moaning about EU preparing to treat UK as a non member and for the possibility of 'no deal'.

"Unbelievable -- or rather, increasingly believable from this inept UK government," she wrote on Twitter.


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