In an hostile interview, Mr Barnier said the UK Government are underestimating the real consequence of leaving the European Union.
Barnier said: “The British have not understood or do not want to understand that Brexit has consequences for them. For us too. But also for them. That after leaving the EU, they cannot have the same conditions and status as when they were members of the European Union. That is your choice. It is difficult for them to accept the consequences of Brexit. There should be more realism in London in the near future if they want an orderly agreement to exit the single market and customs union.”
This interview came soon after David Frost, who is Boris Johnson’s Chief UK negotiator said the EU would need to be more flexible in its approach if a deal is to be achieved. Michel Barnier, Chief EU negotiator indicated that there would be no backing down in his search for a “level playing field” which would mean Britain having to abide by large swathes-fisheries EU rules.
“The question of changing the mandate of the European Union does not arise at all,” Mr Barnier told German broadcaster Deutschlandfunk.
“I remind you that the UK will leave the internal market and the customs union after leaving the European Union. We continue to set the conditions for access to our own market.
“A third country, the United Kingdom, will not dictate to us the terms of access to our market for British goods, services, data or for workers and businesses.
“We remain sovereign. That is my mandate. We ourselves determine the access conditions for our market in all areas.”
In a direct attack on his counterpart, Mr Barnier added: “Mr Frost should remember that the United Kingdom is leaving the European Union and the internal market.
“The United Kingdom wants to establish trade and economic relations with us. For services, transportation, aviation, internal security.
“You want this agreement. We do too, but they leave the European Union, not we leave the United Kingdom.”
Both sides seem to have hit the buffers thus far, after David Frost said the EU was trying to fob off Britain with a substandard deal, which Barnier then hit back saying he didn’t like Mr Frosts tone. This Tuesday, talks will resume. Esteem the two side tin their quest to find a deal.
Mr Barnier said: “It is very difficult, but it is possible. Still possible, even if the British are now imposing a time constraint by refusing to extend the negotiations.
“These could be extended by a year or two if you wish. We are ready for it. If they don’t want to, we now have eight months, even less, six months to leave time for ratification. So: extremely difficult, but still possible.”