Michel Barnier has persuaded European Union member-states to concede on one of Brussels’ major red lines at the Brexit trade discussions. In a shock breakthrough, resources in Brussels told RTE’s Tony Connelly that EU member-states have been “preparing themselves” for a compromise on ECJ. This could indicate a substantial victory for the UK and also Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who have refused to back down Britain’s very own red lines on fisheries and state aid.
Speaking on RTE’s Brexit Republic podcast, Connelly said: “Barnier has said publicly and privately that he understands the UK’s red lines.
“Boris Johnson spelled them out at the high-tech conference: no role for the ECJ in the UK and things have to feel and appear different in the realm of fisheries.
“You can not simply replicate the Common Fisheries Policy and the status quo, also Barnier has said he knows that.”
He added: “This is the very first time Barnier has stated that he sees and knows the red lines of the UK.
“If you speak to officials here in Brussels, he has stated this independently to member-states, and the belief here is that this is dawning on Brussels.
They know it is not likely to fly politically for Boris Johnson to have the overt function of the ECJ in the UK in this future connection.
“So, the EU takes it would be impossible politically for the UK to sign up to the oversight or tyranny of the ECJ somehow involved in UK legislation and subjecting the UK to its remit.”
Another source said to Connelly: “He was signalling clearly that we get the red lines from the UK on matters like the ECJ.
“We get it. This was seen as quite a big move in the EU, to put out that clearly out there.”
This comes as the Government plans to establish a multi-million pound’Get Ready for Brexit’ campaign on Monday, as businesses awaited details of this customs regime they’ll confront.
The British authorities said “major differences still remain” after the most recent round of discussions between Mr Barnier and Britain’s David Frost.
Mr Frost is supposed to travel to Brussels for additional talks next week before formal discussions resume in London.
The Prime Minister has insisted he will not permit trade talks to drag on into the fall.