EU negotiator, Barnier, was found trying to pull a fast one on Britain

Mr Michel BARNIER, Brexit EU Chief Negotiator. Copyright: European Union Event: Special meeting of the European Council (Art. 50)

On Friday, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier spoke in Brussels after the conclusion of the fourth round of discussions between the bloc and UK on a future relationship. As expected, the French politician claimed: “no significant progress” had been made in the previous five days, also insisted that the UK “respect” negotiation rules. And to tell the truth, this week there have been no actual areas of progress.

“We cannot go on like this forever.”
He accused Britain of backtracking on a preliminary declaration agreed in January 2020 between the UK and the EU before the Brexit date and refusing to budge on critical topics.
Mr Barnier noted: “This declaration is not tough to read.
“It is offered in all languages — even English.
“Even in those rare regions where we saw some conclusions, we fell short of that which we agreed in the announcement.”
Despite the deadlocked talks, Downing Street insists that the timetable will not be extended, meaning the possibility of the UK leaving the EU on World Trade Organisation (WTO) terms in the conclusion of the season has now become quite real.
As the clock ticks down and tensions increase, unearthed reports revealed the way in 2017, the European Commission was forced to apologise to diplomats in the remaining 27 EU within a punishment clause in the draft text from this arrangement for the Brexit transition interval.
Based on a 2018 report by The Telegraph, Mr Barnier had defended the clause as “perfectly normal”. Still, he had been made to redraft the language of the term, since it sparked a furious reaction from prior Brexit Secretary David Davis and several Conservative Party politicians.
The clause effectively handed the European Commission the capacity to withdraw UK company access to unilaterally slap Britain with tariffs and aeroplane landing rights when the UK refused to stick to all new and existing EU law.
Brussels warranted the clause by stating the European Court of Justice (ECJ) was too slow to enforce conclusion on Britain during the transition period.
Mr Davis branded it “frankly discourteous”. He accused Mr Barnier of needing to have it “both ways” after Brussels denied British demands to be given the right to object to some new EU law against its curiosity during the transition.
EU officials moved swiftly to calm national diplomats that were concerned the clause could have jeopardised the prospects of a final Brexit deal.
“They said they’d worded the clause inappropriately.
“They were forthright about it and said they would redraft the text.”
Diplomats demanded language for the draft transition deal, claiming that the procedures for penalising could have followed.
Only if Britain ignored such “infringement procedures”, the punishment clause would have been invoked.
The rare mea culpa out of Brussels was a sign of how desperate the Commission was going to keep the constructed front of the EU 27 at the face of Brexit.

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