Published On: Fri, Aug 21st, 2020

Brexit news: Michel Barnier in scathing swipe at UK after latest round of trade talks | Politics | News

Michel Barnier hit out at the UK after confirming the latest round of Brexit trade talks had concluded without any significant breakthrough on a future deal. Mr Barnier insisted the European Union continued to be clear about its position as he warned the UK the bloc’s stance remained unchanged since 2017. The EU chief negotiator claimed the UK negotiating team had shown “no willingness” to take on Brussels’s priorities despite Boris Johnson pledging to speed up talks in order to secure a deal by December 2020.

Mr Barnier added: “Too often this week it felt as if we were going backwards more than forwards

“Given the short time left, what I said in London in July remains true. Today at this stage, an agreement between the UK and the European Union seems unlikely.

“I simply do not understand why we are wasting valuable time.”

Updating the press about the current state of the negotiations, the French diplomat said: “Boris Johnson told us in June that he wished to speed up the negotiating process during the summer.

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“But this week, once again, as in the July round, the British negotiators have not shown any real willingness to move forward on issues of fundamental importance to the European Union.

“This despite the flexibility which we have shown over recent months in terms of taking on board and working with the three red lines Boris Johnsons set out in June, mainly on the European Court of Justice, UK legislative autonomy and on fisheries.

“We still haven’t seen from our British partners any willingness to take on board the EU’s priorities.”

Mr Barnier continued: “There is nothing surprising whatsoever about the EU’s priorities because they have not changed since 2017.

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