According to the Financial Times, Michel Barnier, the chief representative of the EU’s “Brexit” negotiations, warned on December 2 local time that the future relationship negotiations with the United Kingdom in the next 36 hours are crucial, and the two sides have not yet overcome their differences.
Barnier made the above statement at a closed meeting with members of the European Parliament and diplomatic officials on the 2nd. According to those present at the meeting, Barnier said that Brussels and London must assess the possibility of reaching an agreement in future relations negotiations between the two sides before the end of this week.
At present, the key crux still lies in the areas of a level playing field, the fishing rights of EU members in British waters, and how to implement any possible trade agreements.
According to participants, Barnier also hinted that although no breakthrough had been made, the two sides were still exploring possible compromises, including the two sides’ exploration of transitional arrangements on fishing rights, so that the two sides could renegotiate them on the basis of the overall trade agreement reached after the end of the Brexit transition period.
Barnier concluded by warning that it was impossible to say that an agreement could be reached in terms of the existing problems.
In recent days, EU members have been generally concerned about the ongoing negotiations on the future relationship between Britain and Europe in London, and worry that the EU may give up too much in the last few days of the negotiations. An EU diplomat said that governments were “tensioned” about the development of the situation.
French President Macron warned on the 1st: “France will not accept an agreement that does not respect our long-term interests” and “the agreement must promise a balanced future relationship.”
EU diplomats said that governments sent a clear message to Barnier on the 2nd, asking him to adhere to the negotiating mandate given earlier this year.