Juncker; 'The risk of a No Deal remains very real'

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By Meabh Mc Mahon, Paula Sendin
Juncker; 'The risk of a No Deal remains very real'

"The risk of a no deal remain very real," European Commission President Juncker told MEPs in Strasbourg. His words met with applause from the Brexit party. "Hi friends, these are my best friends and groupies, don't be surprised that they are shouting," Juncker quipped.

The debates on Brexit in the European Parliament appear to have turned into a trading to barbs between pro-Europeans and their counterparts in the UK's Brexit party.

Despite the digs, the mood in Strasbourg remains serious for MEPs worried about the effects of a no deal brexit.

"There can be no good or sensible Brexit, but a no deal Brexit would be catastrofic in Northern Ireland. Ignore those who say that no deal is no problem. Listen to those who live and work across the border, they know differently," Naomi Long, Renew MEP told the chamber.

"At the moment, it is not Britain that is leaving the EU, but jobs, business is leaving the UK, one third of the British business are planning to or already leaving Britain," remarked Manfred Weber, (EPP) centre-right German MEP and leader of the largest political group in the European Parliament.

But for the Brexiteers in the room, the UK should have left already.

"We should have left all the 29th of March, then on the 12 of April, now on the 31st of October, what is the point of further delay," queried Geoffrey Van Orden, MEP Conservative Party (United Kingdom).

This frustration of MEPs worried about ongoing delays but willing to give the UK more time and space if needed. That said, no one wants to see Brexit cause splits in the EU who have managed to remain united until now.

"What we will not allow, we as Europeans, that this Brexit is creating turmoil and divisions in our European Union and in our European project," MEP Guy Verhofstadt (Belgium, Renew party) told the chamber.

As Brexit is not the only issue Europe has to deal with its plate is already full.