Just hours after he returned from another London trip that did not yield any results in the Brexit talks, the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier launched a blistering attack on the UK. In a speech to Irish think tank the Institute of International and European Affairs on Wednesday, Mr Barnier said London had refused to make even the most basic concessions needed to meet the EU’s preconditions for a deal. In particular, he named fisheries and the so-called level playing field as the most sensitive issues in the talks.
In recent weeks, pessimism has mounted in Brussels over the prospects of a deal, which the French politician said must be reached by October to be in place for the end of the UK’s transition period on December 31.
On the other hand, British negotiators argue that unless Brussels gives way on state aid rules, the UK would be better off leaving without an agreement in place.
Last month, the UK’s chief negotiator David Frost said that the bloc’s position was now that talks could not substantively progress in any area until the UK backs down and accepts “continuity with EU state aid and fisheries policy”.
Downing Street — determined in particular to have leeway on state subsidies to assist the coronavirus recovery — insist it will do no such thing.
In an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk, French politician and Brexit campaigner Charles-Henri Gallois hit out at Brussels for the way it is handling the negotiations.
Mr Gallois, who has recently launched a new campaign named “Generation Frexit”, argued the EU is making a mistake not to cave in to British demands.
He said: “I think the UK is negotiating well.
“Boris Johnson has made clear that he will not accept a bad deal.
JUST IN: Margaret Thatcher shuts down Jeremy Corbyn in unearthed clip
“But for example, Germany has €40billion (£35.6billion) trade surplus with the UK.
“You see? They have so much more to lose.
“The UK has an £80billion deficit with the EU.
“If they want to blow trade with Britain, it is on them.”