French Minister Ms De Montchalin was pulled up on the Andrew Marr show after warning earlier in the week that the EU will not be blackmailed into signing just any agreement if an extension could be had.
Boris Johnson earlier in the week was stern with his words saying the U.K. will be leaving the EU on 31st December 2020 with or without a deal.
Ms. De Montchalin goes on to say “What I know, and I go back to my passion and reason, I think it will be very difficult for people to understand we did not protect them as much as we could’ve done just because we wanted to stick to a date while we had the opportunity to delay the negotiations for six months more, 12 months more.
“I’m not telling you this is what we want. I’m telling you that, in the end, what matters is the content, the substance of the deal.
“And we won’t sign the deal just because we need to sign something.”
Andrew Marr stepped in, saying: “The trouble with that, respectfully, is that the EU, like the UK, signed up to that date in international law.
“That’s the date, both sides agreed. And Britain certainly said that it is a hard deadline.”
Ms de Montchlin was consistent with her words insisting the deadline for negotiations can be “extended in international law,” which prompted Mr Marr responded: “But you don’t expect Boris Johnson to extend.
“Boris Johnson is talking about Boris Johnson walking away from the negotiations if there isn’t substantive progress by June.”
The EU goes into negotiations on Monday in Brussels in the hope the U.K. gives into their demand on a level playing field. The EU is finding it hard to tie down the U.K. to that demand because the agreement it comes from is not binding.
The U.K. goes into these negotiations with a different vision. Their vision is one of friendship and trade without being tied up in third-party rules made away outside the U.K. No other third country has been asked to sign up to specific rules by the EU so why should the U.K. do so?
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