Jasper Jacobs

"No Deal is a Bad Deal"

"A recipe for disaster".  This is how the Flemish leader Geert Bourgeois described the prospect of the United Kingdom quitting the EU without a deal on future relations. 

Talks on a deal are currently underway, but the UK government today published its first recommendations for citizens and businesses for in the event of a No Deal Brexit.  Flemish Prime Minister Geert Bourgeois insists that a No Deal Brexit would be catastrophic for the people of Britain, who would face serious deterioration in their social economic situation.  But the No Deal would be bad news for the EU too.  After Ireland Flanders is most exposed to the ramifications of a No Deal Brexit.

Mr Bourgeois believes 28,000 jobs could be lost here: "Many sectors should be worried."  The Flemish leader hopes that it won't come to this, though he believes it is a realistic possibility given the differences between the UK and the European commission.

"We are extremely busy pointing out to business an array of potential problems, especially in the field of customs.  At present businesses export without hindrance.  In future every lorry and ship will have to be checked.  I believe that many businesses don't comprehend how much red tape will be involved.”

PM Bourgeois is banking on common sense and British pragmatism: "I hear more and more voices in the UK calling for a good agreement or even to backtrack.  The majority in favour of Brexit was precarious."