Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl, right, welcomes Britain's Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, left, for talks at the foreign ministry in Vienna, Austria, Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2018. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)

British foreign secretary warns against messy EU divorce

August 01, 2018 - 5:29 am

VIENNA (AP) — Britain's foreign secretary is visiting Austria, which holds the European Union's rotating presidency, bringing his warnings about a "messy divorce" with the EU that could poison future relations.

Jeremy Hunt reiterated Wednesday the message he previously brought to Germany and France. He stressed Britain's wish for a close relationship, adding: "We are very concerned that, as things stand at the moment, we are heading for 'no deal' by accident."

Hunt said "there is a real risk of a messy divorce, which would be a huge geostrategic mistake."

Britain is due to leave the EU in March but there has been no agreement on their future relationship. Hunt said after meeting Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl that "time is very, very short" but a delay in its departure is "highly unlikely."

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