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Montevideo, November 16th 2018 - 08:13 UTC

EU's Brexit negotiator has called for “realism” from UK government

Monday, May 28th 2018 - 08:10 UTC
Full article 3 comments
Barnier’s intervention during a visit to Portugal, illustrated the gap between the two sides in the negotiations. “Time is running short,” he said Barnier’s intervention during a visit to Portugal, illustrated the gap between the two sides in the negotiations. “Time is running short,” he said
Mrs May has rejected the EC’s fallback option to cover the border, which would see Northern Ireland remain closely tied to EU rules Mrs May has rejected the EC’s fallback option to cover the border, which would see Northern Ireland remain closely tied to EU rules

The European Union’s Brexit negotiator has called for “realism” over the terms of the future relationship between the UK and Brussels. Michel Barnier’s comments came after claims from EU officials that Britain has a “fantasy” approach to the talks sparked anger.

Chancellor Philip Hammond and Theresa May’s top Europe adviser Olly Robbins were forced to defend the Government’s approach after the criticism from Brussels.

Mr Barnier’s intervention, during a visit to Portugal, illustrated the gap between the two sides in the negotiations. “Time is running short,” he said, stressing the need to finalize the withdrawal agreement – including an agreed “backstop” proposal covering cross-border issues between the UK and Ireland.

Mrs May has rejected the European Commission’s fallback option to cover the border, which would see Northern Ireland remain closely tied to EU rules – effectively creating a new border in the Irish Sea. She has promised to put forward the UK’s alternative backstop proposal, although the Prime Minister remains hopeful of finding a way to solve the problem of the border within the wider post-Brexit deal.

Mr Barnier stressed that “realism is needed on the future relationship”.

Earlier Chancellor Hammond insisted that talks with EU officials were “constructive” after reports from the continent that Britain was being “unrealistic” and little progress made in discussions in recent days.

Arriving in Brussels for talks with other finance ministers at the Economic and Financial Affairs Council, Mr Hammond said: “We are having very constructive discussions, I don’t think that is a particularly helpful comment.

The increase in tension emerged after the UK made clear it would seek a return of £1 billion in funding it has put into the Galileo satellite system if the EU continued to shut Britain out of key aspects of the project post-Brexit.

Categories: Politics, International.

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  • Conqueror

    Barnier is a liar. If figures often quoted are accurate, I'd love to see the details of how the EU forced around 60 “third countries” to give EU nationals exceptional rights, make any fishing grounds freely available to the fishing industries of all its member states, demand that they comply with all features of european “law” and pay the EU billions of euros against possible future commitments.

    Infamously, Barnier likes to say that the UK will be a “third country”. Why doesn't he “negotiate” with a “third country”?

    Without saying anything, the UK should just bear in mind two principles. The first is that any treaty, which is just a contract anyway, can be repudiated by a sovereign state. Particularly if it is entered into under duress. And the second principle is that no UK government is obliged to comply with anything done by a previous government.

    Of course, the UK can't accept the EU conditions too easily. Barnier might smell a rat. But, after we've left the EU, we can do what we like. Not even bits of paper that the EU obtains will make any difference. We just tear them up.

    May 28th, 2018 - 12:27 pm 0
  • golfcronie

    The trouble is we as a nation are too honest to renegade on treaties or agreements,you only have to look at all the other countries in the Eu and see what I mean.

    May 29th, 2018 - 04:44 pm 0
  • Juana

    The question is why is this piece appearing in Mercopenguin, a British government propaganda organ supposedly devoted to America, South America and the “South Atlantic”?

    May 30th, 2018 - 02:22 am 0
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