Mark Francois speaks out after Barnier threatens No Deal unless a long-term solution is found on fisheries.

Prominent Brexiteer and chairman of the European Research Group (ERG) Mark Francois, spoke about his confidence in the Prime Minister’s ability to break down the EU’s stubbornness on many Key Negotiation areas. Mr Francois was on talkRadio; the MP shot down the arguments being made for the need of an extension, warning, Brussels may try and pressurise the UK into a further delay. 

This is after Michel Barnier on Friday afternoon hit out, accusing Britain of dragging its feet and deliberately running down the clock. He also took Keen focus to express himself about the British refusing to play ball with the EU overfishing access into British waters. This is because the UK negotiation team wanted fisheries to be dealt with as a separate entity away from the trade negotiations. Chief EU negotiator said: “The EU will not agree any future economic partnership that does not include a balanced, sustainable and long-term solution on fisheries – that is crystal clear.  “The UK cannot refuse to extend the position, and at the same time, slow down discussions on important areas.” 

Mark Francois responded: “Barnier was being downbeat about the negotiations today but that is what he would say, isn’t it? “It’s a negotiation tactic. The good news is that despite the pandemic the talks are taking place.  “There were over three dozen separate video conference calls between the two sides and more than 100 UK negotiators because they are negotiating across a range of different issues. 

“They are going to try and bounce us into an extension. I really don’t believe that is necessary.  “Why? Look at what happened last time. Barnier was swearing blind that the EU would never open the withdrawal agreement and even if they did, there was no way they would change the famous backstop.   “And what happened? When Boris got stuck in, not only did they open the withdrawal agreement, he dropped the backstop, and that all happened in less than three months!  “The Prime Minister is a pretty good negotiator, I can testify to that. If he can do that all in three months, I have to believe we can get a deal before the end of the year.”  

Michel Barnier is hoping the UK calls for an extension in June when they have vital discussions on what path to take. Even though the EU may want the UK to extend, the UK is still standing by its guns being very adamant, the UK will not be calling or accepting any extension, even if the EU ask for one. Mark Francois said: “We all know this is a divisive issue, it’s split the country. We now need to unite to combat this horrible disease so the last thing we need to do is reopen this Brexit debate and divide the nation again.”
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