- EXPRESS - Oct 16, 2020 -
BORIS Johnson's chief Brexit negotiator has told Michel Barnier there is "no basis" for Brexit trade talks unless he dramatically changes his position.
In a phone call this afternoon, Lord Frost warned his EU counterpart wrangling over the future relationship pact won’t resume until the bloc agrees to discuss legal texts on a daily basis for the next two weeks. Their discussion comes after Boris Johnson walked out of the negotiations, leaving Brussels with one final opportunity to avoid a no-deal Brexit. A No10 spokesman said: “Lord Frost has spoken to Michel Bernier to update the EU on the Prime Minister’s statement.
“Lord Frost said that, as the PM had made clear, the European Council’s conclusions yesterday had left us without a basis to continue the trade talks without a fundamental change in the EU’s approach to these negotiations.
“There was accordingly no basis for negotiations in London as of Monday.
Mr Barnier has proposed fresh negotiating rounds in London next week and then in Brussels the following week.
It is unclear whether the Brussels diplomat has offered his UK counterpart the necessary reassurances for the talks to go ahead.
EU leaders were left scrambling to mend the broken relationship after the Prime Minister’s statement.
Influential figures, including Angela Merkel, vowed to compromise in future wrangling with Britain over a free-trade agreement.
The German Chancellor insisted the bloc is “ready to compromise” across the board, including on future access to Britain’s fishing waters and a regulatory level-playing field that signs the two sides up to common standards.
She claimed she would accept the UK diverging from the EU’s rulebook as long as Brussels has the ability to “react quickly” to unfair competition.