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Hunt to warn France, Austria of costs of no-deal Brexit



London (Reuters) – British Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt will visit Paris and Vienna this week to discuss Brexit and warn against the cost of Britain and the European Union, he said Tuesday.

Britain's Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt will attend a joint press conference with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi at Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing on July 30, 201

8. REUTERS / Jason Lee

Hunt was in Beijing on Monday, where China offered Britain talks about a post-Brexit free trade agreement that reached London, while Beijing is in an increasingly bitter trade war with Washington.

On his return to Europe, Hunt will travel to France and Austria to meet with his Foreign Ministers Jean-Yves Le Drian and Karin Kneissl and try to support the Brexit proposals of Prime Minister Theresa May earlier this month.

"I will explain to my counterparts in Paris and Vienna that it is time for the EU to deal with our proposals, or that we potentially have the prospect of a no-deal by chance, both for the UK and the EU, "said Hunt.

Britain will leave the EU on 29 March next year, but has yet to conclude a transitional agreement or agree on the principles of a longer-term trade relationship with its largest overseas market.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said that the time was running out for a Brexit deal and that this would hurt business when he visited London earlier this month.

During his stay in Vienna, Hunt will also meet with the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency to discuss the future of the Iranian nuclear agreement, from which the United States resigned in May.

British Prime Minister May met Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz on Friday, discussed Brexit and confirmed that the issue will be on the agenda of a meeting of EU leaders in September in Salzburg.

On Monday, their official spokesman denied media reports that the government was planning for the army to deliver food if Brexit's "no deal" led to delays in importing goods from Europe.

Reporting by David Milliken; Edited by Hugh Lawson

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