COCKY Michel Barnier today dismissed Boris Johnson’s threat to step down without a Brexit deal – dismissively wishing him: ‘Good luck! “
The EU negotiator has stepped up discussion with No 10 on fisheries and state aid rules ahead of next week’s decisive round in London.
He told the prime minister he will have to accept a subsidy rig that could threaten his leveling program and the wrath of conservative “blue wall” MPs.
And he warned UK negotiators that we can take back control of our waters, but not the fish that live there.
The Frenchman delivered the explosion after a day of “difficult” discussions with David Frost in London yesterday.
He condemned No 10 for using EU fishermen as “bargaining chips” in negotiations and said he had made no effort to reach a compromise.
An agreement will not be reached without an agreement on fisheries, he insisted.
And he demanded “assurances” that the UK will not use its new regulatory freedom to “distort competition with us in the future”.
But in a combative speech, he himself rejected a series of British proposals on agriculture, aviation, road transport, auto industry, steel and energy.
And in a direct challenge to the Prime Minister and Mr Frost, he also ruled out the threat of Britain moving away.
He told an Irish think tank: ‘Sometimes I listen to some in the UK talking about the possibility of a no deal. Good luck! Good luck!
“But, frankly, there is no reason to underestimate the consequences for many people, many areas without a deal. ”
Mr Barnier insisted he has made repeated compromise proposals and that the UK will have to reciprocate next week if there is any progress.
He said: “I still believe, despite the current difficulties, that Prime Minister Johnson wants a deal.
“We will do everything in our power to come to an agreement until the very, very end. “
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But No10 fought back, saying the EU insists agreements must be made on fisheries before moving on to “which makes progress very difficult”.
They warned that “time is running out for both sides” and that progress must be made.