Barnier: Withdrawal Terms “Nothing to Do” With Future Relations

No progress during this week’s round of negotiations, as was always going to be the case. The EU’s position has always been unreasonable: no trade talks until we agree the bill. Barnier’s claim that agreeing withdrawal terms is “nothing to do” with the future relationship is just wrong. No one can realistically expect us to blindly commit to a sum until discussions about trade at least begin. Interestingly Barnier essentially admitted it is his mandate from the EU27 that has caused the deadlock – he conceded the order not to move talks on is “precise” and when asked directly if he would try to loosen it replied: “I’ll explore the way forward. If there’s necessary will I will explore ways of getting out of this deadlock”. No sign of budging from the EU27 yet…

UPDATE: Judging by who retweeted Henry Newman’s tweet on this point – Christopher Meyer, Chris Lockwood of the Economist and former FCO perm sec Peter Ricketts – Remainers are increasingly coming round to the view that the EU is being unreasonable.




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Quote of the Day

Andrea Leadsom told BBC Radio 4’s Today

“He’s made his views on Brexit on the record, and the problem with that of course is that the chair’s impartiality is absolutely essential. … He’s made his views known on Brexit… it’s a matter for him but nevertheless it’s a challenge and all colleagues need to form their own view of that.”

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