Britain faces costly exit from EU

It’s also being reported that Britain could face the equivalent of R100bn in extra costs should it leave the EU without a deal.

British Flag. Picture: AFP.

LONDON - As the Brexit bill is debated in the House of Lords, new reports have emerged about the potential cost of British negotiators failing to strike a deal with the European Union (EU).

Almost 200 submissions are being made in the upper house of parliament as a bill required to trigger the divorce enters its final stages.

On Friday former prime minister Tony Blair launched a movement to try and reverse Brexit but some have dismissed this as arrogant, given the outcome of the referendum.

It’s also being reported that Britain could face the equivalent of R100 billion in extra costs should it leave the EU without a deal.

Government maintains there are no U-turns.

"This bus has left," said one senior EU diplomat.

"No one is happy about it. But we have moved on and the last thing anyone wants now is to reopen the whole issue."

Some still talk of hope: "Despite the hard rhetoric and threats by the British government ... the European Union remains a project of mending," said German lawmaker Terry Reintke, who speaks on Brexit for the Greens in the European Parliament.

"If the UK was to decide to stay a member of the European Union, the Greens will fight against closing the door."
But Germany, France and other big powers worry that being soft on London could lead to a further unravelling of the EU.

So even if Prime Minister Theresa May were to seek a "soft Brexit" - under which it would notably retain full access to the EU's single market in return for accepting its rules - many have lost patience with a Britain that has long secured special favours.

_Additional reporting by Reuters.
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(Edited by Shimoney Regter)