European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, left, and Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, left, and Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern. AP Photo/Virginia Mayo

EU must make Britain 'worse off for Brexit'

THE European Union must ensure Britain is made worse off when it leaves the trading bloc and any other result would be a "capitulation”, the Austrian Chancellor said in a media conference on Monday.

"A member of a club must have better conditions than somebody who isn't a member of this club - our British friends must be aware that nothing else can come out of these negotiations,” Christian Kern said. "Everything else would be a capitulation by Europe.”

British Prime Minister Theresa May is preparing to trigger Article 50 by the end of next month to start the two-year negotiations over the terms of a Brexit deal, and prominent EU figures have begun to make their positions known.

Also at the media conference, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker warned against the UK trying to promise special treatment for certain industries such as telecommunications, chemicals and steel, Bloomberg reported.

Such pledges could undermine EU unity during Brexit negotiations, Mr Juncker said, "It's in our common interest there are no special arrangements.”

Speaking to Germany's Deutschlandfunk radio on Sunday, Mr Juncker urged Europe to present a united front in negotiations with the UK.

"The other EU 27 don't know it yet, but the Brits know very well how they can tackle this,” he said.

"They could promise country A this, country B that and country C something else - and the end game is there is no united European front.”

INM



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