Jul 27, 2020
Last week, Michel Barnier, EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, announced that there has not been any progress in the trade talks between the UK and EU following Brexit. Mr. Barnier commented that the two sides were not agreeing on how to establish a “level playing field” between EU and UK businesses and were also unsure of the issue of access to British fishing waters.
On Monday, following a closed-door meeting between the nations, Mr.Barnier expressed positive comments on the ongoing negotiations which stand in contrast with his last week’s assessment of the situation.
A new EU-UK partnership must include solid level playing field guarantees on standards and their enforcement, including on social protection. pic.twitter.com/fiI7qIZRWT
— Michel Barnier (@MichelBarnier) July 27, 2020
Reuters reported that “Even low-quality, low-profile deal with Britain would need to include a level playing field, fisheries provisions. Ireland, the Netherlands confident new EU-UK deal will come together eventually. Lithuania, Hungary concerned EU27 may be weakening chances for overall UK deal with tough demands on fisheries.”
Ireland and the Netherlands were reported to take the largest hit from trade change rules following Brexit. During the negotiations, the Dutch envoy commented that a deal would eventually “come swimming across (the English) Channel”, according to the sources. France considers Mr. Barnier’s comments as “unacceptable” as the future of the fishing industry is a sensitive economic and political topic.
A spokeswoman for the European Commission commented that it had nothing to add to Michel Barnier’s comments last week.