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Belgium: EU's Barnier slams UK for failing to 'commit seriously' to trade talks02:52

Belgium: EU's Barnier slams UK for failing to 'commit seriously' to trade talks

Belgium, Brussels
April 24, 2020 at 17:47 GMT -00:00 · Published

The EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier expressed his discontent at the lack of progress being made during post-Brexit trade talks with the UK at a press conference in Brussels on Friday.

"The UK cannot refuse to extend the transition and at the same time slow down discussions on important areas," said Barnier.

"The UK did not wish to commit seriously on a number of fundamental points," adding that "These are not points that we just came up with, they are written quite precisely in the political declaration."

"The British government has told us and confirmed at this round that it would reject any extension to the transition period," he said.

Barnier also emphasised that the UK was setting itself an impossibly tight deadline.

"To impose this very rigourous schedule, that is exceptional for a negotiation of such importance, never in history has Europe negotiated with a third party country, even a simple commercial treaty, and we're so beyond that, in such a short time" he said.

If the UK fails to reach a trade agreement with the EU then it will be left trading on WTO terms when the post-Brexit transition period comes an end on December 31.

Belgium: EU's Barnier slams UK for failing to 'commit seriously' to trade talks02:52
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The EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier expressed his discontent at the lack of progress being made during post-Brexit trade talks with the UK at a press conference in Brussels on Friday.

"The UK cannot refuse to extend the transition and at the same time slow down discussions on important areas," said Barnier.

"The UK did not wish to commit seriously on a number of fundamental points," adding that "These are not points that we just came up with, they are written quite precisely in the political declaration."

"The British government has told us and confirmed at this round that it would reject any extension to the transition period," he said.

Barnier also emphasised that the UK was setting itself an impossibly tight deadline.

"To impose this very rigourous schedule, that is exceptional for a negotiation of such importance, never in history has Europe negotiated with a third party country, even a simple commercial treaty, and we're so beyond that, in such a short time" he said.

If the UK fails to reach a trade agreement with the EU then it will be left trading on WTO terms when the post-Brexit transition period comes an end on December 31.

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