The UK will have to “face the consequences” if it opts to leave without a deal, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator has said.

Michel Barnier told BBC Panorama the thrice-rejected agreement negotiated by Theresa May was the “only way to leave the EU in an orderly manner”.

He also insisted Mrs May and her ministers “never” told him during Brexit talks she might opt for no deal.

Publicly, Mrs May has always insisted no deal is better than a bad deal.

In his first UK broadcast interview – conducted in May before the start of the Conservative leadership contest – Mr Barnier was asked what would happen if the UK “just tore up the membership card” for the EU.

“The UK will have to face the consequences,” he replied.

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