After the third round of trade talks failed, Michel Barnier held a press conference. Barnier looked defeated as he addressed the world’s press. From the start, Barnier blamed the UK for no progress made in these negotiations. Barnier said: “The United Kingdom did not engage in a real discussion on the question of the level playing field”. Meaning Barnier was disappointed to find the UK wasn’t for rolling over and accepting demands coming from the EU.
Mr Frost didn’t hold back his punches as he soon responded with a letter.
Mr Frost said: “First, we have tried to be clear consistently that we are looking for a suite of agreements with a Free Trade Agreement at the core. We do not seek to remain part of the Single Market or Customs Union, as we do not believe this is in the UK’s interest”.
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EU’s Ms Rutter labels UK Chief negotiator David Frost a “whiny child complaining that the big kid isn’t playing by the rules”.
Mr Frost continued saying:” We find it surprising that the EU not only insists on additional provisions but is also not willing even to replicate provisions in previous FTAs”.
“We find it hard to see what makes the UK, uniquely among your trading partners, so unworthy of being offered the kind of well-precedented arrangements commonplace in modern FTAs.”
Frost finishes with saying this: “Overall, at this moment in negotiations, what is on offer is not a fair free trade relationship between close economic partners, but a relatively low-quality trade agreement coming with unprecedented EU oversight of our laws and institutions.”
These remarks from Frost sparked a reaction from the Pro EU lobby.
One remark came from the Telegraph, where Ms Rutter gave her thoughts. Due to what Mr Frost wrote to Barnier, Ms Rutter label the UK chief negotiator a “whiny child complaining that the big kid isn’t playing by the rules”.
She said: “Frost’s complaints about the EU’s unreasonableness are unlikely to make many in the UK taskforce, or in distracted national capitals trying to cope with COVID, change their minds.
“The letter reads like a rather whiny child complaining that the big kid isn’t playing by the rules.
“What Frost failed to set out is any of the benefits to the EU of the sort of agreements the UK was offering: why the EU would do much better to reach a position where a deal with the UK was possible, rather than let the UK float off with no deal.
“And Frost failed to give any hint of any understanding of the EU’s concerns – and how the UK’s proposals helped address them.”
Ms Rutter then suggested the letter was “all a cunning plan” with the Brexit negotiator “playing the bad cop towards the EU”.
She said: “But it is just possible that this is all a cunning plan. That David Frost is playing the bad cop towards the EU – and Michel Barnier is doing the same.
“There could even now be background WhatsApp conversations exploring possible areas where the two sides could come closer, preparing for Boris Johnson to pull off another October surprise and conclude the last minute deal.
“The danger is that the Frost rhetoric, which looks like preparing the way for a UK walkout, makes any political move later in the year even harder to pull off.”
Nigel Farage commended Mr Frost and cautioned that the UK is entering an “absolutely crucial” time in the upcoming few months as Brexit talks start to heat up.
As both sides accuse the other of being unreasonable in their demands, rows have broken out in the negotiations.
The LBC host, also Brexit Party leader, Mr Farage revealed the EU was likely to “cave” to the UK’s terms as time begins to run out of negotiation time.