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France urges businesses to prepare for no-deal Brexit
A demonstrator waves a Union flag and a European Union flag as they take part in a march calling for a People's Vote on the final Brexit deal, in central London on October 20, 2018. - Britons dreading life outside Europe gathered from all corners of the UK to London on Saturday to try to stop their country's looming breakup with the EU. (Photo by NIKLAS HALLE'N / AFP)

France urges businesses to prepare for no-deal Brexit

France has warned its business leaders to prepare for all potential Brexit scenarios including Britain crashing out of the EU with no deal, as Paris scrambles to plan for a new era of trade with its neighbour.

The meeting between junior finance minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher and members of trade federations comes after the French government unveiled draft legislation setting out preparations for a possible “no-deal” Brexit.

“It’s about really explaining to them that they must prepare at the same time for the United Kingdom becoming a third-party country, and the risk of there being no transition period after March 2019,” a ministry source said of the meeting.

Any transition period to smooth Britain’s exit “depends on an exit deal having been reached with the United Kingdom,” the source said — a deal that has eluded the EU and Britain so far, just months away from Britain’s scheduled departure on March 29, 2019.