With the third round of negotiations coming to an end, the EU negotiator Michel Barnier did a press conference to the world’s press. Again the EU negotiator looked deflated, frustrated and beaten saying it was a “disappointing” round.
Three weeks ago, after the second round of trade talks, Michel Barnier said he wanted “move forward – in parallel – on all topics of negotiation, including the most difficult ones.” But that has been extremely difficult to do with the UK rejecting EU demands.
The UK sent new text proposals to Barnier to focus minds.
In this third round of negotiations, even though the two sides are worlds apart on any agreement on fisheries, it was the first time they discussed them properly. There was no news progress on other challenging areas of negotiations.
The EU claim: “The United Kingdom did not engage in a real discussion on the question of the level playing field – those economic and commercial “fair play” rules that we agreed to, with Boris Johnson, in the Political Declaration.” (Political Declaration is non-binding hence Boris rejecting the “level playing field”)
“On this topic, this was a round of divergence, with no progress.”
Barnier said he was disappointed with the “lack of ambition on the respective roles of the European Parliament, the British Parliament and civil society in the implementation of our future relationship.
It was apparent that Barnier was extremely frustrated that both parliaments are locked out of these negotiations before, they found and agreed on the conclusion of these negotiations. We all know why both parliaments are being locked out at this point, and that’s to avoid remainers with agendas throwing spanners at ongoing talks by those who want to stumble negotiation. Barnier said: “Why does the UK refuse to include consultation mechanisms with our European and British parliaments and with civil society in our future agreement?”
Barnier continued his push for both parliaments to be involved during negotiations saying: “This is what we have foreseen in our modern association agreements to ensure the greatest democratic legitimacy and enable parliamentarians, NGOs and social partners to make their voices heard. I know that the European Economic and Social Committee is very attentive to this issue.
Barnier, even though he was deflated hinted for the U.K. to extend yet again. He said: ”we remain determined to build a new and ambitious partnership with the United Kingdom“
“an extension of one or two years remains possible by joint agreement.”