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Montevideo, November 19th 2017 - 03:20 UTC

EU working on a plan for the possible collapse of Brexit negotiations

Monday, November 13th 2017 - 09:23 UTC
Full article 6 comments
Barnier made the statement in an interview with French newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche days after giving the UK a two-week deadline to clarify key issues. Barnier made the statement in an interview with French newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche days after giving the UK a two-week deadline to clarify key issues.

The European Union's chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, says he is planning for the possible collapse of Brexit negotiations with the UK. Barnier was talking to French newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche days after giving the UK a two-week deadline to clarify key issues.

 Failing to reach an agreement was not his preferred option, he stressed. The UK's Brexit Secretary David Davis has said it is time for both sides “to work to find solutions”.

On Friday, Mr Davis insisted good progress was being made across the board, and that the negotiations had narrowed to a “few outstanding, albeit important, issues”.

Discussing the likelihood of the talks collapsing, Mr Barnier said: “It's not my option, but it's a possibility. Everyone needs to plan for it, member states and businesses alike. We too are preparing for it technically.

”A failure of the negotiations would have consequences on multiple domains.“

Barnier has asked the UK to clarify its stance on its financial obligations to the EU if future trade talks are to go ahead in December. But Mr Davis has made conflicting remarks, suggesting the UK would not have to give a figure for a financial settlement before it could move on to talks about a future trading relationship.

Speaking to Sky News on Sunday, he said: ”In every negotiation, each side tries to control the timetable. The real deadline on this is, of course, December.“

Mr Davis was referring to the next EU summit which will take place in Brussels in December. He said British taxpayers ”would not want me to just come along and just give away billions of pounds“, and added ”we've been very, very careful, and it's taking time and we will take our time to get to the right answer.”

His comments followed a sixth round of talks between Mr Davis and Mr Barnier in Brussels. Speaking after the talks on Friday, Mr. Davis said any solution for the Irish border could not be at the expense of the constitutional integrity of the UK.

Categories: Economy, Politics, International.

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  • Brit Bob

    Hard Brexit - Governor Bank of England 18 October

    BoE Governor Mark Carney discussed the risks of a hard Brexit during his testimony to the UK Parliamentary Treasury Committee. There was renewed weakness in Sterling during his testimony.

    Ironically, given the fall in Sterling, Carney explained why Europe’s financial sector is more at risk than the UK from a “hard” or “no-deal” Brexit. We wonder whether Juncker and Barnier appreciate the threat that a “no-deal” Brexit poses for the EU’s already fragile financial system?

    When asked does the European Council “get it” in terms of potential shocks to financial stability, Carney diplomatically commented that “a learning process is underway.” Having sounded alarm bells about clearing in his last Mansion House speech, he noted “These costs of fragmenting clearing, particularly clearing of interest rate swaps, would be born principally by the European real economy and they are considerable.”
    Calling into question the continuity of tens of thousands of derivative contracts, he stated that it was “pretty clear they will no longer be valid”, that this “could only be solved by both sides” and has been “underappreciated” by Europe. Moving on to the possibility that there might not be a transition period, Carney had a snipe at Europe for its lack of preparation “We are prepared as we should be for the possibility of a hard exit without any transition…there has been much less of that done in the European Union.”

    Maybe it’s Europe, not the UK, that needs the transition period most.

    Posted 5 days ago +1
  • golfcronie

    Come on EU audit your accounts for the last 30 years or so and tell the UK where the money the UK contributes is actually going. The MEPS attend and are given 300 Euros per day expencises and are bailing put these bankrupt countries of Europe.

    Posted 5 days ago +1
  • The Voice

    Intransigent Germans and their French poodles cannot be negotiated with. I am sure Mr Davis is aware of this. Barnier's instructions leave no scope for compromise. At some point we will probably have to walk away. This will cause further instability among EU members and the whole rotten Prussian Empire will start to fragment. O
    Stock market gyrations and a Venezuala driven oil price spike offer opportunities to make a few bob. Great for the wealthy and very bad for the poor.

    Posted 5 days ago +1
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