Brexit: Angela Merkel urges both sides to keep negotiating

Cheryl Sanders
October 17, 2020

Daniel Kawczynski, MP for Shrewsbury and Atcham said chief negotiator David Frost was right to call a halt to further talks after the European Union said the future of a deal depended on Britain conceding on key demands.

Brussels intends to continue talks next week.

Speaking at the end of the summit in Brussels, European Council president Charles Michel said the EU was ready to carry on with negotiations.

The EU never recognised his deadline and in their conclusions put the onus on Johnson to rescue a deal as time runs out.

His comments come as UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned that, unless there was "fundamental change" in the EU's approach, the UK would go for the "Australia solution", Downing Street language for no-deal, in the post-Brexit trade talks.

The 27 presidents and prime ministers had said in a joint statement that the United Kingdom would have to "make the necessary moves to make an agreement possible" - enraging the British side, who accused them of "an unusual approach to conducting a negotiation". But EU leaders interpreted his tough talk as mostly bluster.

"We received a very good assessment on the state of the negotiations from our chief negotiator Michel Barnier", Mr Martin said.

He said if a deal wasn't reached by 15 October, "then I do not see that there will be a free trade agreement between us, and we should both accept that and move on".

He said businesses and individuals should now start preparing to start trading with the European Union on World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules like Australia when the current Brexit transition period ends at the end of the year.

"They want the continued ability to control our legislative freedom, our fisheries, in a way that is obviously unacceptable to an independent country", he said in a broadcast interview.

"There's a deal to be done, but there needs to be flexibility on both sides, energy and goodwill and political will on both sides, and the prime minister will say more (today)", the foreign secretary told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

Von der Leyen said, in a tweet, "As planned, our negotiating team will head to London next week to intensify these negotiations".

Britain formally left the EU on January 31 this year, but a transition period, which ends on December 31, means it remains in the EU single market and customs union.

The European call came after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson issued a warning about the possibility of withdrawing from the negotiations unless the results of the European summit pave the way for a breakthrough.

France's president Emmanuel Macron said it was ready for a no-deal if Britain refused to agree to conditions preserving French fishermen's rights in British waters and non-dumping rules.

But many economists say it would be devastating for British businesses, which are already struggling with huge economic hits from the coronavirus pandemic.

The UK's negotiators are as familiar as the EU's demands for access to UK waters, robust enforcement of the deal, and commitments over subsidy law, which were also repeated in Brussels this morning. "This of course means that we (the EU), too, will need to make compromises". Prior to the summit, Frost was expected to advise Johnson not to abandon talks, the person said.

Brussels in turn stresses that Britain's economy is far more integrated with the EU's than Canada's, and that its single market must be protected from backsliding on regulation or state aid in Britain.

Other reports by iNewsToday