EU Sees Higher Probability of No-Deal Brexit, Dombrovskis Says

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(Bloomberg) — There is an increased probability of Britain crashing out of the European Union without an agreement as developments in the U.K. Parliament go against Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal, European Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis said.

“We consider a no-deal Brexit as a scenario we should be trying to avoid because it’s going to be much more disruptive than withdrawal with an agreement,” Dombrovskis said in an interview with Bloomberg Television on Tuesday. “But we must admit that following two votes in the British Parliament rejecting the deal, the probability of a no-deal Brexit has increased.”

Prime Minister May appears set to request an extension of the Brexit process after the House of Commons speaker said a third vote on her deal isn’t possible without substantial changes.

Regarding a possible prolongation, Dombrovskis said the U.K. needs “to determine whether it’s for a short or long extension, and each of those scenarios has its own different implications.” An extension of more than a couple months would mean that Britain takes part in this spring’s European Parliament elections, he said.

With the U.K. is due to leave the EU on March 29, the bloc’s other 27 governments on Tuesday endorsed a series of legislative measures to prepare for a no-deal scenario, including in the areas of transport and fisheries.

To contact the reporter on this story: Francine Lacqua in London at flacqua@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Fergal O’Brien at fobrien@bloomberg.net, Jones Hayden

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