EU CHIEF NEGOTIATOR- FULL STATEMENT “The need for a Level Playing Field is not going to go away.”

With the close of the seventh round of negotiation talks, Michel Barnier took to the worlds press to pass blame onto the UK for the lack of progress. Below is the full statement from today press conference.  

Ladies and gentlemen,

The need for a Level Playing Field is not going to go away.

Even if the UK continues to insist on a low-quality agreement on goods and services only.

It is a non-negotiable pre-condition to grant access to our market of 450 million citizens, given the United Kingdom’s geographic proximity and the intensity of our economic exchanges.

We are asking for nothing more, but nothing less, than what Prime Minister Johnson committed to in our joint Political Declaration last October, together with the 27 EU leaders.

Here is a small reminder of those commitments – which were also endorsed by the current UK Parliament, by the way, and supported by the European Parliament.

In particular, paragraph 77, where we agreed that :

  • I quote: Our future agreement must encompass “robust commitments to prevent distortions of trade and unfair competitive advantages”;
  • And, I continue to quote: we should “uphold the common high standards applicable in the Union and the UK at the end of the transition period in these areas: state aid, competition, social and employment standards, environment, climate change, and relevant tax matters”.

Ladies and gentlemen,

That is what modern trade policy is about.

Not just lowering tariffs and removing quotas.

It’s about finding agreement – between sovereign parties – on the rules that will govern future trade.

As Commissioner Phil Hogan often says, a modern trade policy must contribute to upholding – or even raising – rights and standards, in the interest of citizens, consumers and sustainable development.

We hear the British government’s concerns about maintaining its sovereignty and its regulatory autonomy.

And we respect that.

But no international agreement was ever reached without the parties agreeing to common rules.

And I can predict with absolute certainty: this will also be the case of trade agreements between the UK and other partners in the future, such as the United States, Japan or Australia.

 

Ladies and gentlemen,

Apart from the question of a Level Playing Field, there are still many other areas where progress is needed. For example:

  • Fisheries, where we have made no progress whatsoever on the issues that matter.
  • Governance, where we are still far from agreeing on the essential issue of dispute settlement.
  • Law enforcement, where we still struggle to agree on the necessary guarantees to protect citizens’ fundamental rights and personal data.
  • Mobility and social security coordination, where our positions also remain far apart.

Nonetheless, to be fully objective, I should add that, in some of the ten tables that convened this week, we were able to make progress on technical issues.

For example, on energy cooperation, participation in Union programmes, and anti-money laundering, among others.

This will be useful when it comes to consolidating, together, a final text – provided we are able to agree on fundamentals first.

However, too often this week, it felt as if we were going backwards more than forwards.

Given the short time left, what I said in London in July remains true:

Today, at this stage, an agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union seems unlikely.

I simply do not understand why we are wasting valuable time.

6 thoughts on “EU CHIEF NEGOTIATOR- FULL STATEMENT “The need for a Level Playing Field is not going to go away.”

  1. Why is EU so worried about a small little country like UK? When we no longer belong to the club we Dont have to abide by club rules, over the years they have overruled us on to many things, I still not seen any accounts published by EU? no they are a law i not them selves soon we make a clean break the better

  2. Just leave we keep our fishing grounds so we can get back what we lost.thy don’t give a dam about Britain they are in it for themselves NO DEAL get on with it bye bye

  3. We need accounts shown as to where our money has gone!! We need receipts .we were the main money bank and got nothing back, time for transparency now!! We must give them no more. They have sponged of us for too long . We need it to house & feed all the Europeans you have let come here , illegally and to hire the planes to send them all back. The time is coming ,to start deporting all who should not be in our overpopulated country we have enough illegals here ,to the detriment of the indigenous population, who are at the back of a long queue for houses and welfare which we Brits have paid into all our working lives, in the belief it was for the Brits who paid their dues, not to give to the words scrounges arriving here .

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6 thoughts on “EU CHIEF NEGOTIATOR- FULL STATEMENT “The need for a Level Playing Field is not going to go away.”

  1. Why is EU so worried about a small little country like UK? When we no longer belong to the club we Dont have to abide by club rules, over the years they have overruled us on to many things, I still not seen any accounts published by EU? no they are a law i not them selves soon we make a clean break the better

  2. Just leave we keep our fishing grounds so we can get back what we lost.thy don’t give a dam about Britain they are in it for themselves NO DEAL get on with it bye bye

  3. We need accounts shown as to where our money has gone!! We need receipts .we were the main money bank and got nothing back, time for transparency now!! We must give them no more. They have sponged of us for too long . We need it to house & feed all the Europeans you have let come here , illegally and to hire the planes to send them all back. The time is coming ,to start deporting all who should not be in our overpopulated country we have enough illegals here ,to the detriment of the indigenous population, who are at the back of a long queue for houses and welfare which we Brits have paid into all our working lives, in the belief it was for the Brits who paid their dues, not to give to the words scrounges arriving here .

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