Such an outcome, commonly known as a no-deal Brexit, remains a realistic possibility following the rejection of British PM Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement by the UK parliament on Tuesday.
No-deal could have a significant impact in Denmark, including on the country’s food export industry.
It is now up to the UK to find a way of reaching an agreement that would avoid a no-deal situation, Rasmussen said.
“The British have said ‘no’ to the agreement they themselves negotiated and which their own prime minister thought was good enough,” the Danish PM said on Tuesday evening.
“It is therefore the British who must, in the first instance, figure out what the next step will be. And we will of course listen and approach that constructively,” he said.
May’s agreement was rejected by 432 votes to 202 in the House of Commons on Tuesday, the largest parliamentary defeat ever suffered by a British government.
“There has been a very clear rejection of the agreement. So it’s going to be a huge task in the United Kingdom to resolve what to do next,” the Danish PM said.
May faces on Wednesday night a no-confidence motion tabled by opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn immediately after Tuesday’s vote, but is expected to survive and continue as the head of government in the UK for the time being.
The UK remains scheduled to leave the EU on March 29th, without an agreement if none is reached in the intervening ten weeks.
One consequence of no-deal would be customs control between the UK and the 27 EU countries.
“That would make things very difficult for the Danish companies that export to and import from the UK. We are preparing for that. That’s why we are equipping ourselves in customs and tax (administration),” Rasmussen said.
“That is why the Minister of Immigration [Inger Støjberg, ed.] is in a dialogue with parliamentary parties about a special Danish law that would ensure Brits in Denmark fair conditions, if it ends that way [with no-deal, ed.],” he added.
Rasmussen has previously said in social media posts that his government would ensure British citizens living and working in Denmark can remain in the country in the event of no-deal, but no legislative measures have been announced.
On its website, the Danish Ministry of Immigration and Integration currently states that Denmark will consider the rights of British citizens in Denmark in the event of a no deal-Brexit once the outcome of negotiations between the UK and the EU is known.