As Michel Barnier has said, Boris Johnson’s Brexit timetable does not give enough time to negotiate a full trade agreement between the European Union and the UK.
Speaking in Stockholm on Thursday, the EU chief negotiator said that it would take more than an 11-month transition period to negotiate a comprehensive relationship.
Instead, Mr Barnier said Brussels would try to “prioritize” and secure a “basic agreement” with Britain — trade in goods, regulatory alignment, and fishing along the EU’s red lines.
He said, “If we want to agree on every point of this political declaration — which will lead to unprecedented relations — it will take more than 11 months.
“So we are ready to do our best, to maximize, in 11 months, to secure a basic agreement with Britain, but we need more time at every point of this political declaration will agree.”
He described the overall plan as “covering everything from services and fisheries to climate action, energy, transportation, space, security and defense” as a “huge agenda”. He said that the two sides “just about every one of this new Can’t expect to agree on the aspect of partnership in under a year “.
During a Q&A following the speech, Mr Barnier said: “Speaking about the economy and trade, there will be no agreement without a global agreement on trade, equal opportunity and fisheries for commodities. I think I am clear. “
Michel Barnier also said the agreement would include a framework for cooperation on issues such as climate change and the Middle East, as well as a ‘close security relationship’.
He insisted that Mr Johnson would have to sign the UK until the so-called “equal opportunity”, in which the UK would have to stay relatively close to EU rules if it wanted access to European markets.
“Mr Barnier said,” If the UK wants an open link with us for products — zero tariffs, zero quotas — we need to be careful about what we call zero dumplings.
“If this is not the case… access levels for British products will be proportional.
Public comments confirm what Michel Barnier has been telling officials privately since last year. In December, a closed meeting of MEPs received a leaked recording of the independent chief negotiator saying that it is “unrealistic” that a deal could be concluded within Mr Johnson’s timetable.
Mr Johnson’s Brexit pact includes an option to extend the transition period to two years beyond the end of 2020, but the Prime Minister says he will not do so — for fear of upsetting the Brexiteers in his party.
This approach creates a sharp rock edge for the country at the end of the year, with the potential to crash on UK WTO regulations. Even if a “basic” deal is cut in time, some areas covered, not covered by any business will be hit.
Back in Westminster, No ten appeared unaware of Mr Barnier’s comments. Asked if Britain was ready to walk away from negotiations if the EU insisted on prioritizing fisheries and trade in goods early in any deal, Mr Johnson’s official spokesman said: “I The European Union does not appear to have set out in any detail how they plan to approach these tees.
“Have I heard the European Union saying that they are committed to reaching an agreement with Britain by December 2020. This is what we will be focusing on achieving. It was a positive discussion yesterday with Ms. von der Leyen, and We are ready to start those talks from 1 February.
“The EU processes they have to go through. We fully understand it. We are ready to go as soon as possible after we have left on 31 January.
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