Denmark’s Finance Minister Kristian Jensen said Friday he puts the chance of a no-deal outcome for Brexit at 50-50, arguing that time is running out to strike a deal.
Jensen told the BBC Radio 4 Today program that Denmark’s close alliance with the United Kingdom means the country is committed to striking a Brexit deal. After meeting U.K. Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt in Denmark on Wednesday for bilateral talks, Jensen said the Chequers proposal put forward by the British government is “a positive step forward and good basis for further negotiations.”
He said that Hunt told him the United Kingdom will do “what ever they can to make a good agreement.”
“We also want a deal, that is as good and as solid as possible,” Jensen said — citing the close economic relationship between Denmark and the U.K., and its historical alliance on issues such as defense.
But he warned negotiators are running out of time to reach that deal. “If you imagine being married to someone for 40 years … then having a divorce, you would know it takes a lot of legal scrubbing to do the right deal,” Jensen said.
Jensen’s position mirrors that of Latvian foreign minister Edgars Rinkēvičs, who on Wednesday said the prospect of a no-deal outcome for Brexit represented a “very considerable risk,” although he said he was “remaining optimistic.”
In preparation for a no-deal outcome, London Mayor Sadiq Khan plans to ask the body tasked with planning for terrorism attacks to assess whether the U.K. capital could cope with shortages of items such as food or medicines, the Guardian reported Friday.
EU and U.K representatives on Friday continued a two-day meeting in Brussels with discussions on the future relationship, after talks about the Northern Ireland border Thursday.