“It's the most likely scenario,” Le Drian told reporters in Paris when asked about the prospect of Britain crashing out of the union without a deal on the movement of goods and people in and out of the Europe.
Le Drian said “there will be drawbacks, that's inevitable”, citing fisheries as one of the issues that could cause tensions between Britain and France.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in the House of Commons, where he faces rebellion from his own MPs. Photo: AFP
But even if Britain's 46-year membership of the EU does come to an abrupt halt next month, Le Drian said: “There will have to be discussions at some point, even if only about landing airplanes and the Eurostar (cross-Channel rail service).”
He also repeated France's opposition to any further postponement of Britain's departure date, barring a game-changing event in British politics such as early elections.
His remarks came as Johnson engaged in a showdown on Tuesday in parliament with opposition MPs and Conservative Party who are trying to prevent him taking Britain out of the EU without a deal.
Johnson on Monday repeated his determination to leave the EU on October 31st “no ifs or buts.”