The negotiations are stopped. And there are only two weeks left to close an agreement if it is to take effect on January 1. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson set October 15 as the deadline for the agreement regulating the future trade relationship between the United Kingdom and the EU after Brexit occurred on January 31. But October 15 was reached without a deal, and EU leaders reaffirmed their positions at a European summit that prompted Johnson to move on three key issues – fisheries, governance and a level playing field – to reach a deal.
Boris Johnson leaves Brexit in the air: “The talks are broken if the EU does not change its position”
Since then, the two parties have not seen each other again. Britain has rejected the planned trip of chief negotiator Michel Barnier this week to London. This Wednesday, after the conversation between Barnier and his British counterpart, David Frost, a British spokesman stated: “Frost and Michel Barnier had a constructive discussion. The situation remains as yesterday and they will remain in contact.” And what had the British said the day before?: “That there will only be a basis for resuming talks if there is a fundamental change in the EU’s approach, and the acceptance that the movement must come from both the EU and the EU side. from United Kingdom”.
This Wednesday the European Parliament held a debate on the situation of the negotiations, in which Michel Barnier wanted to insist that “the door of the EU will be open until the last day, our team will work night and day if necessary to finalize an agreement. But an agreement is a matter of two. We are not sure that we will achieve it. ”
“Despite the difficulties”, said Barnier: “The agreement is within our reach, if we move forward with legal texts and if we are willing to tackle the thorniest issues. Time is limited; if the UK wants, we can find together the solutions to the most difficult problems. ”
According to Barnier, “what is at stake in this negotiation is not the sovereignty of one or other of the negotiating parties. Any future agreement will be made respecting both sovereignties. What is at stake is the new organization of future relations. after the divorce, and we want to do it as soon as possible for economic security, and cooperation in foreign policy. ”
“We note with interest that the EU negotiator, this morning in the European Parliament,” stated a British Government spokesman, “has made significant comments on the issues that lie behind the current difficulties in our talks. David Frost will discuss the situation when I speak to Michel Barnier today. ”
The president of the European Council, Charles Michel, has criticized in his speech the British Internal Market bill, which “goes against the withdrawal agreement”.
“Our friends say they want an ambitious relationship, but they want market access and diverge from our rules and regulations when it suits them. It is not an a la carte menu. You cannot want butter, butter money and the smile of the milkmaid. You cannot have a cake and eat it at the same time “, Michel has affirmed to describe the British negotiating attitude:” Do you want to regulate state aid? And the climate or food security? Time is short, and we are ready to negotiate 24 hours a day: the UK has to make a sovereign decision that we will always respect. ”
The president of the Socialists in the European Parliament, Iratxe García, was also firm with the level playing field: “We must not accept dumping social and environmental issues. “A position shared by Greens co-president Ska Keller:” We cannot jeopardize the internal market, social rights and the environment. Brexit is sad, but now we have to keep closing ranks. ”
The vice president of the popular, Esteban González Pons, has affirmed for his part: “If Boris Johnson burns all the bridges, he condemns the British economy. And if Trump loses the elections, he will not have a friend in the world. times, to collaborate is to survive “.
The head of Internacional de Podemos and MEP, Idoia Villanueva, has also criticized that Johnson joined “the Trumpist current by despising the negotiation. Europe should not join in this way of doing things, you always have to have your hand out, defending the strategic sectors and putting as a priority the rights of citizenship “.