Trade

Michel Barnier: UK needs to get real if it wants a Brexit deal

“The British have not understood, or they do not want to understand, that Brexit has consequences for them,” EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said in a punchy reaction to recent public statements by his British counterpart David Frost.

Speaking to German radio Deutschlandfunk Friday morning, Barnier demanded “more realism in London in the near future if they want an orderly agreement to withdraw from the single market and the customs union.”

U.K. chief negotiator David Frost told MPs on the House of Commons Brexit committee Wednesday that Brussels negotiating mandate would “need to evolve” in order for an agreement to be reached, or else the U.K. would walk away from negotiations.

Barnier said Friday that such changes are “out of question.”

“I would remind you that the United Kingdom is leaving the internal market and the customs union … its not us leaving the United Kingdom,” he said. “A third country, the United Kingdom, will not dictate the conditions of access to our market for British goods, services, data or for workers and businesses … We remain sovereign. This is my mandate.”

“We wish to conclude a partnership and balanced agreement with this great, friendly, neighboring and allied country”— Michel Barnier, EU chief Brexit negotiator

Speaking about the contentious issue of a so-called level playing field for common environmental, labor or competition rules — paramount for the EU and anathema to the U.K. — BarnieRead More – Source