“We cannot rule out the prospect of a” no deal “but we want to avoid it,” said Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian in an interview with French daily La Croix for publication on Wednesday.
“The British are playing against the clock but that is not always the way to reach a good agreement,” he added.
Britain, which left the EU in January, is negotiating a trade deal to govern relations after December 31, when it ceases to comply with EU rules.
Le Drian’s comments came as French President Emmanuel Macron traveled to Britain on Thursday for a visit which is expected to include talks with Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
He said Britain apparently still did not understand the full meaning of Brexit even after officially leaving the European Union.
“When you are outside the Union, you do not get the same benefits as when you are inside. You can’t get in and out, ”he added.
“You have to choose and I’m not sure they understood the full extent of their withdrawal,” said Le Drian.