Theresa May still believes that a Brexit deal with the European Union is likelier than not, according to her spokesman, despite her Trade Secretary Liam Fox saying the opposite over the weekend.
“We continue to believe that the most likely outcome is reaching a good deal because it is not only in the interests of the U.K., it’s in the interests of the EU,” the prime minister’s spokesman, James Slack told reporters Monday.
He was speaking after Fox told the Sunday Times that there was a 60 percent chance of a no-deal outcome from talks with EU. The pound weakened on Monday, trading 0.5 percent lower against the dollar at 1 p.m. in London.
Asked about Fox’s comment that EU “intransigence” was to blame for the increased risk of talks failing, Slack replied: “The prime minister has stressed on a number of occasions the importance of being pragmatic and practical in the negotiations.” He added that Fox was “right to say there is a risk of the negotiations not succeeding, and it’s right to prepare for all eventualities.”
May is trying to steer a course between those in her Conservative Party who demand a tough stance with the EU and are content to walk away without a deal, and those — including Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond — who say this would be an economic catastrophe. Her government is working on a series of papers advising people how to prepare for a no-deal Brexit.
European Commission spokeswoman Mina Andreeva said her side was “working constructively day-and-night to reach a deal.”