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European Commission Criticizes U.K.’s Lack of Brexit Preparations | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Jean-Claude Juncker and other EU chiefs want Britain to start talks as soon as possible to quit the bloc (AFP Photo/John Thys)

Paris – President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker said on Monday that Britain will require “months of preparation” before Brexit negotiations can begin.

Junker criticized the British government saying it should have been better prepared for the possibility of a Leave vote.

Juncker confirmed that, if Britain did not accept free movement of workers, it would lose unrestricted access to the Internal European Union market.

“There will be no access to the internal market for those who do not accept the rules – without exception or nuance – that make up the very nature of the internal market system,” Juncker said.

In June, the newly elected British Prime Minister Theresa May told Juncker that Britain needs time to prepare for negotiations following the Brexit results.

President of the commission said there is no deadline since Article 50 of Lisbon Treaty could only be activated by Britain.

He said: “I would have preferred the U.K. presents us its letter of resignation, so to speak, as soon as possible, as I had thought that the British, especially those who wanted to leave the EU, would have prepared for this possibility.”

Juncker confirmed that the European Union will not allow the entrance of British goods into the internal market without fees if Britain did not allow free movement of workers.

PM May was able to convince Germany and France of the importance of delaying Britain’s exit procedures. May also gained the sympathy of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande.

Britain had repeatedly announced that it won’t activate Article 50 before the end of the year.

Theresa May said U.K. wants to keep close economic ties with Germany and France.

During a joint press conference with the French President, May said, “Britain is leaving the European Union, but we are not leaving Europe, and we are not walking away from our friendship with France or any of our other European partners.”

May added that Britain wants to secure the closest possible economic ties with EU.

Whereas the French President Hollande said: “It’s the most crucial point. That’s the point that will be the subject of the negotiation.”

Hollande reiterated that Britain must initiate Brexit procedures as soon as possible so that Leave “infection” doesn’t reach his terrorism-tainted country.

Paris is keen on maintaining good relations with London. Eurotunnel is a fine example on the maintained relations as it became the link between Britain, Europe and the world.

In addition, there are several military treaties between France and Britain signed in 2010 that allows Britain to use Charles de Gaulle plane carrier until it is done building its own one.

Meanwhile, French-British boarders witnessed tensions due to the intensified security procedures causing traffic on Dover port. British people spent hours on Sunday stuck in their cars and some had to wait as much as 15 hours.

Car lanes went as far as 19Kms within Dover, while officials claimed that it is due to summer season, staff shortage and security measures.