Boris Johnson’sBrexittimetable does not give enough time to negotiate a full trade deal between the EU and the UK, Michel Barnier has said.
Speaking in Stockholm on Thursday, the EU’s chief negotiator said it would take longer than the – month transition period to negotiate a comprehensive relationship.
Instead, Mr Barnier said Brussels will “prioritise” and try to secure a “basic agreement” with the UK – with the EU’s red lines being trade in goods, regulatory alignment, and fishing.
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“If we want to agree on each and every point of this political declaration – which would lead to an unprecedented relationship – it will take more than months, “he said.
“So we are ready to do our best, to do the maximum, in the months, to secure a basic agreement with the UK, but we will need more time to agree on each and every point of this political declaration. “
He described the overall plan “covering everything from services and fisheries to climate action, energy, transport, space, security and defense” as a “huge agenda” and said the two sides “simply cannot expect to agree on every single aspect of this new partnership in under a year “.
During a Q&A following the speech, Mr Barnier added: “Speaking about economy and trade, there will be no agreement without global agreement on trade for goods, the level playing field, and fisheries. I think I’m clear.
Mr Barnier also said that the agreement would have to include a framework for cooperation on issues such as climate change and the Middle East, as well as a “close security relationship”.
He emphasized that Mr Johnson would have to sign Britain up to the so-called “level playing field”, in which the UK would have to stay relatively close to EU rules, if it wanted access to European markets.
“If the UK wants an open link with us for the products – zero tariffs, zero quota – we need to be careful about what we call zero dumping,” Mr Barnier said.
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