Denmark’s finance minister, Kristian Jensen said that time is already running out to finalize a Brexit deal. He echoed Latvia’s foreign minister, Edgars Rinkēvičs’ gloomy assessment. Mr. Rinkēvičs offered the following opinion:
“Frankly at this point, I would rate it 50-50… well, I think that 50-50 is a very considerable risk if that were to be, let’s say, a 70-30 that we get a deal, I would be very satisfied.
“But of course, from our point of view, as you know, the EU is united at 27. We also are satisfied to see that there is (a) more detailed position of the British Government that constitutes a good ground for really trying hard to reach a deal.”
“So having said 50-50, I would say I’m remaining optimistic. I think that we are at a very critical point… I believe that both the EU and UK need to have extra effort to reach some kind of deal by October because I believe that it is in the best interests of both the UK and EU.”
During an interview with BBC Radio 4’s “Today” program, Jensen was asked to state his opinion on Rinkēvičs’ assessment:
“I also believe that 50-50 is a very good assessment because time is running out and we need to move really fast if we’ve got to strike a deal that is positive both for the UK and EU.”
Discussions came after the foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt cautioned that a no-deal Brexit will turn out to be “a mistake that we would regret for generations”.
Eurosceptics in his party were not pleased with his comments and blamed him for weakening May’s position. Ministers have been emphasizing that Theresa May is very serious about walking away from a bad deal.
Conor Burns, a Tory MP, told the Telegraph: “The thing that we want to avoid for ‘generations to come’ is being locked into a permanent orbit around the EU where we end up with a deal but don’t have a seat around the table.”