It’s been reported that Last Friday afternoon there was a confidential meeting of MEP’s headed up by EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier. Barnier told the MEP’s that there was “vast differences” between the two sides, this was after the two negotiators went head to head over a seven day period where they tried to negotiate terms to form a trade deal.
The downbeat assessment of the week-lengthy negotiations from the chief negotiator had triggered fears with the EU commission. Reports suggest that the EU have now ramped up their no-deal planning. This was after members from the European Parliament’s UK coordination Group spoke of a strong possibility that Boris Johnson and his top adviser Dominic cummings we’re pushing for a no-deal exit. One source at the meeting said to Barnier that “It has been some time since I concluded that no deal is exactly what the Prime Minister and Cummings want,” “If you read their team’s attitude in the negotiations, it seems to match that premise very nicely.”
Mr Barnier last week accused Britain of stalling the post-Brexit trade discussions by ruling out an extension to the transition period. Without stretching this standstill period, Britain will depart the EU’s single market and customs union next year. Both sides have been made to hold recent negotiations using video conferencing due to the pandemic. He said the EU would continue to insist on a fisheries agreement before any trade deal was agreed. Senior European officials stated that Mr Barnier was profoundly concerned that David Frost, the Prime Minister’s lead negotiator, failed to “engage” even discuss regulatory orientation and governance of their upcoming arrangement.
Brussels was alerted that failing to make a breakthrough in the negotiations would result in a trade cliff edge. Mr Barnier told colleagues: “What’s happening around the world and in Europe is quite serious. “We’ve got even more responsibility on our shoulders to discover a solution.” Resources on both sides have stressed the significance of a summertime showdown between Mr Johnson and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. It’s believed by injecting “political impetus” to the discussions will turn the tide towards a more successful resolution.
The EU worries that No Deal is the preferred outcome for Boris as he hasn’t caved in to the EU demands of a level playing field, instead insisting on being treated as a third nation who seeks a truly independent free trade deal. An EU source said: “It depends on the political will in London. “Do they believe now is the time for more disruption or see it as the ideal time to take a rest?” In conclusion, the EU has been doing its best to force the UK into an extension. They’ve used every tool in the book to try and make Boris turn on his word, but his stance on leaving the EU in its entirety has been unwavering. As it stands, we are set to leave the EU in its entirety on 31st December.
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