REVEALED // Brussels Fear Boris Johnson’s Westminster majority as talks commence today.

Michel Barnier euro news

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# News Reporter

Darren

so we had all the wrangling over the UK’s exit from the EU, finally, Brexit happened at the end of January, but now this is the next stage and the amount on the agenda is huge. What are they going to be looking at today?

Euro new interview brexit

# Darren

Yeh, Alistair, Indeed it is huge. 

A lot of stuff to get through. 

A lot of people involved in it as well. 

So big, are these talks that they’re not happening at the commission just across the road from me here in Brussels, because there are too many people involved.

 Taking place rather at a central location in the Belgium capital. 

And also as you said the time is quite tight, the expectation that this all has to be wrapped up by the end of this year and insistence from the British prime minister that he will not seek an extension, and is perfectly willing to leave with no deal if that is the case.

Now in the end, what they both want is essentially the same thing, they want a free trade deal that will mean zero tariffs and zero quotas on goods.

The problem is that there’s a lot of stumbling blocks to getting there.

The EU clearly wants to keep the U.K. Inside its fear influence in some ways, it argues it is a large economy, on the very edge of the EU, that is not very far away and it wants it to maintain certain standards and rules when it comes to things like employment rights and environmental regulations, but the U.K. has also made it very clear,  that it is willing to sacrifice that free frictionless trade if it means that Britain is to get its independence politically from the E. U.

What it does not want to be is a rule-taker, particular as one is not sat in that room and given the fact that Brexit has happened.

 

# News Reporter

Now as you say both sides are talking tough, but the British in particular seem to be a particularly belligerent. 

 

Warning that they may walk away early in June if there’s no overall framework by then.

 

What is this stance what impact is that having in Brussels how are they looking at this in Brussels and in other European capitals.

# Darren

Well, I think in two ways its focusing the minds at some what, because Europe knows the actually the timetable is quite tight and what has changed from this time last year, is the politics in London, in Westminster.

 

Boris Johnson now has a majority, so unlike Theresa May in a what he says does really matter, because it’s likely than, to happen. 

 

So I think when the EU listen to all the bluster from Boris Johnson, Essentially they believe it a little bit more and they think that there is a possibility that the U.K. may say in June that not enough progress has being made, and actually will then spend the next six months of that transition period, trying to mitigate the consequences of no deal. 

 

But there is still hope I think from both sides, that they can find this landing zone to get a deal done, as I say before the end of the transition period which is the end of this year.

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