The European Union has called for a “clear answer” from the UK about its next step in the Brexit process after MPs rejected Theresa May’s deal.
The EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier again insisted there will be no further offer from Brussels apart from the deal already on the table, and it is now “the responsibility of the UK” to suggest a way forward.
“The risk of no-deal has never been higher,” Mr Barnier added. “That is the risk of an exit - even by accident - by the UK from the EU in a disorderly fashion.”
With MPs set to vote on wether to request an extension to Article 50, EU leaders have insisted they need to know the purpose of any delay to Brexit, given Parliament’s inability to agree on a way forward.
Mr Barnier told the European Parliament: “What will their choice be, what will be the line they will take? That is the question we need a clear answer to now. That is the question that has to be answered before a decision on a possible further extension.”
Also addressing MEPs in Strasbourg, a senior Brussels official lashed out at Nigel Farage, Liam Fox and Boris Johnson over their “hubris”, calling on them to apologise to the British people.
European Commission vice president Frans Timmermans said: “Having listen to Mr Farage and his colleagues and seeing the hubris with which he stands here and the self-gratification of his position, I sometimes wonder, has he gone to Sunderland and talked to the workers at the Nissan plant and said to them ‘It might cost you your job, but I will get my pipe dream of so-called sovereignty’?
“Has Dr Liam Fox ever said ‘Well, I said it would be the easiest trade deal in human history, but on second thoughts it’s much more complicated than I promised before the referendum’? Has Boris Johnson gone to the doctors and nurses of the NHS and said ‘I did promise you £350 million extra a week; sorry, I can’t deliver on that promise’?”
Mr Farage used his own contribution to the European Parliament debate to highlight the “snarling anger” of senior MEP Guy Verhofstadt, the “bureaucratic intransigence” of EU negotiator Michel Barnier, and the “constant stream of insults” from European Council president Donald Tusk.
Mr Farage called for any extension request from Britain to be vetoed, adding: “We leave, and both you and we can get on with the rest of our lives.”