Barnier not «optimistic» about Brexit deal

European Union’s top Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said on May 15 that the third round of talks with the UK on a new partnership was “disappointing”.

“We’re not going to bargain away our values for the benefit of the British economy,” visibly discontent Barnier said a news conference in the European Commission press centre.

He added the bloc would not seal a new trade deal with London without level playing field guarantees of fair competition or without a comprehensive agreement on fisheries. In the context of COVID-19 virus all the negociations were conducted by telecommunications.

Barnier suggested the UK’s own demands were “not realistic” and warned of a looming stalemate.

The EU chief negociator underlined aim was a “modern, forward-looking” agreement with the UK which would avoid any tariffs or quotas on trade.
He also pointed out that the current talks would shape the relationship between the UK and EU for “decades to come” and the EU would not opt for a deal “at any price”.

When answering questions about the chances of Brexit economic agreement, he said he was “not optimistic, but still determined”, adding that the EU was “stepping up preparations” for a no-deal outcome.

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