Post-Brexit Boost for U.K. Would Be EU ‘Capitulation,’ Kern Says

  • Austrian chancellor says nothing else can come of Brexit talks
  • EU Commission President Juncker warns of U.K. promises

The European Union must ensure the U.K. is in a worse situation when it leaves the bloc, otherwise it would represent a “capitulation,” Austria’s chancellor said.

“A member of a club must have better conditions than somebody who isn’t a member of this club -- our British friends must be aware that nothing else can come out of these negotiations,” Christian Kern told reporters in Brussels on Monday. “Everything else would be a capitulation by Europe.”

As U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May prepares to trigger the Article 50 next month to start two-year negotiations on Britain’s withdrawal from the bloc, the EU’s other 27 governments are beginning to draw their own battle-lines.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told reporters in the same press conference that he’s concerned that the U.K. could try to make promises to certain industries -- citing steel, chemical, telecommunications manufacturers -- based in other EU countries to undermine European unity during the Brexit negotiations.

“It’s in our common interest that there are no special arrangements,” Juncker said.

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