Brexit news: Michel Barnier angered France during last minute Brexit talks | Politics | News


The EU’s chief negotiator will meet with European ambassadors later today about France’s concerns over the terms of a trade deal with the UK. Mr Barnier traveled to London for last-minute talks with David Frost to strike a deal before the UK leaves the EU on December 31.

The meeting will take place at 7:30 am today, and Mr Barnier is expected to give an online briefing to the Brussels ambassadors.
The negotiator has reportedly reassured diplomats that he will not give in to the UK’s demands and that he will strike a fair deal.

It comes as EU diplomats have claimed the European Commission had received a “serious warning” that it was making dangerous concessions on red line issues, according to The Telegraph.

France is concerned that Mr Barnier is giving too much ground on fisheries and state aid, which she said “risked dividing member states”.

READ MORE: Fisheries Brexit: EU branded ‘selfish’ as ​​Brussels bloc said to ‘move’ in tense talks

French President Emmanuel Macron has spoken out on maintaining EU access to UK waters, as proposed changes to shares hit France hard.

Speaking yesterday, Mr Macron threatened to vote against a Brexit deal that gives too much access to UK waters.

He said: “The preservation of our fishermen in UK waters is an essential condition.

“France will not allow an agreement that does not respect our interests.”

Other EU members questioned whether the Commission, led by Ursula von der Leyen, was ready to agree on a deal.

A European diplomat told the Telegraph: “There is growing unease among member states that Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, encouraged or not by Germany, is doing whatever it takes to make a deal.

Ms von der Leyen said the UK and the EU were discussing a level playing field that would ensure, among other things, no regression in standards for environmental laws and labor rights.

She added: “We will see how the next few days go, we want a deal, but not at any cost.”

It comes as British MPs have warned the UK is still not ready for Brexit, just four weeks before the end of the transition period.

The Commons Public Accounts Committee, a group of all-party MPs, said: “There are still significant risks for the country to be ready for the end of the transition period on December 31, 2020, but the government still does not appear assume limited liability for this availability.

“Industry bodies have said the government has failed to provide the key information businesses need to prepare, such as detailed advice on how to request streamlined customs procedures.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said the UK will “prosper” regardless of a deal with the EU, but added that he hopes a deal can be reached.


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