Brexit: The EU Can ‘Negotiate’ But Will Not Change ‘Approach’ on Trade Negotiations

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London calls for "fundamental change of approach" from Europeans on Brexit trade negotiations

DIPLOMACY: London calls for “fundamental change of approach” from Europeans on Brexit trade negotiations

The standoff between the European Union and the United Kingdom continues. “We will not have a new approach”, declared Clément Beaune before the European Affairs Committee of the National Assembly. He thus clearly rejected a demand by Prime Minister Boris Johnson regarding post- Brexit negotiations. The head of the British government had indeed conditioned the continuation of trade negotiations on Friday to “a fundamental change of approach” on the part of the Europeans, despite the threat of a “no-deal” on January 1st.

“Our priorities are clear. They have no reason to change. They were communicated transparently, in good faith, to our negotiating partners, ”continued the French Secretary of State. “It’s up to them to tell us now, beyond tactics, if they want to continue negotiating. We are ready for it, ”he added.

“The” no deal “is more painful for the British than the Europeans”

London and Brussels continued their ping-pong game on Tuesday, calling on each other to step closer to unblock post-Brexit trade talks, which are more bogged down than ever. “We must not give in to a tactic or technique of intimidation. The “no deal” is more painful for the British than the Europeans, “insisted Clément Beaune.

“We often allow ourselves, this is specific to Europeans in international relations (…) to be impressed by our partner or our adversary”, he noted. “We have a market which is eight times larger than the British market, us the European Union, so the need is quite asymmetric,” he continued.

Three areas of contention

The discussions stumble on three subjects: access for Europeans to fish in British waters, the guarantees demanded in London in terms of competition, and how to settle disputes in the future agreement.

“It is out of the question that on the good looks of our partner, we trust him for eternity to spontaneously comply with the same environmental, health, regulatory requirements in the financial or data protection field as us”, underlined Clément. Beaune.

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