BREAKING BRITANNIA NEWS
EU diplomats are currently working on a fresh set of negotiating guidelines which say Brussels shouldn’t dance into the Prime Minister’s tune. The move comes as member countries work to harden their resolve before formal trade discussions next month, open with Britain. In a leaked draft of Mr Barnier’s new mandate, the bloc will guarantee to”do as much as possible in the brief timeframe”.
However, diplomats have instructed their negotiator to not be held hostage by Mr Johnson’s refusal to extend the transition period past the year’s end.
The Frenchman was warned to”bear in mind because of its expansion provided for in Article 132 of the Withdrawal Agreement”.
Both sides can agree to a one-off extension for up to two years in July to allow time for negotiations.
Mr Johnson has cautioned that he is not prepared to keep Britain in the bloc’s single market and customs union beyond the close of the year.
The Prime Minister has signalled he is prepared when Brussels does not offer a trade deal to the UK to walk away from the bargaining table.
Today Mr Barnier echoed the warnings of Cabinet minister Michael Gove, who said failure to secure an agreement by the end of the year could lead to border checks.
The Brussels negotiator told MEPs in Strasbourg:”If we don’t achieve an agreement by December 31, on trade.
He added:”In other words, above and beyond the tests that we’ll have to execute on all goods from the United Kingdom as a consequence of Brexit, as we carry out checks on all third countries coming into the single market. We do this to protect our consumers and firms, beyond and above, those checks will have to come what may.
“In these conditions, if we don’t reach an agreement, there will be more quotas and tariffs on most of British goods. That’s the result if we don’t reach that agreement within the constraints of the time constraints imposed by the Prime Minister.”
Diplomats are frantically working to harden the mandate before an EU ministerial meeting of Mr Barnier at the end of the month.
They’ve already instructed the Commission official to have a tougher line.
EU capitals want him to create tougher fishing quota demands in a bid.
Mr Barnier was advised to”uphold” the current rules, which allow reciprocal access for European vessels to British fishing waters.
Diplomats also want to ensure Britain remains tied to their environmental, taxation, state aid and competition rules.
They have instructed the negotiator to add enhanced provisions into the so-called”level-playing area” in Mr Barnier’s draft negotiating principles.
Express.co.uk reports: “It’s a way of pointing out this really is a connection which will have to work out at the long run.
“We need a way to prevent tensions if both sides believes the deal becomes unbalanced or unfair with time.”
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