French MEP says no deal ‘worse for EU than UK’ and rages at Barnier’s Brexit ‘punishment’
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The French MEP claimed the European Union’s position in the Brexit negotiations has been to “punish the British people” from the start. Mr Bay argued the European Commission is “still seeking to keep the UK on a short leash” and warned the Brussels’ negotiators’ attitude was “never going to work” towards reaching an agreement. The French eurosceptic said he was “very worried about fisheries” as he claimed Germany’s preparedness to compromise on the issue will result in either “weakness or no deal”.
“The consequences of a no deal will be much worse for the EU than the UK,” he added.
Addressing Mr Barnier directly he said: “You should have based your negotiations on fisheries
“It’s the UK that is showing that European institutions are leading to the collective weakness of our nations and our continent.”
Opening the plenary session, European Council President Charles Michel warned the EU is “determined to ensure all businesses follow the same principles when operating in our market”.
In a stern warning to the UK negotiators, Mr Michel said time was very short to reach a deal but that EU leaders were “ready to negotiate 24/7”.
The Council President said the UK has a “big decision” to make and stressed the EU si ready to end negotiations without a deal.
He said: “The UK now has an important choice to make on its own future,” European Council President Charles Michel told the European Parliament.
“It’s not about choosing the negotiating tactics. It’s about choosing the model of their society for the future. Do our British friends want to regulate state aid and uphold high medical standards? If so, why not commit to them.”
“Time is very short and we stand ready to negotiate 24/7, on all subjects, on legal texts. The UK has a bit of a decision to make and it’s their free and sovereign choice. Their sovereign answer will determine the level of access to our internal market.”
EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier added the EU is going to “need trust” based on the current deal.
He added the Brussels bloc wants to reach an agreement but “not at any cost”.
“Any agreement will be drawn up in the respect of the autonomy of the European Union and the sovereignty of the United Kingdom,” he added.
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Michel Barnier told the European Parliament: “We will seek the necessary compromises on both sides in order to do our utmost to reach an agreement and we will do so right up until the last day which it’s possible to do so, our doors will always remain open right up until the very end.”
The EU’s chief negotiator insisted: “Despite the difficulties we’ve faced, an agreement is within reach if both sides are willing to work constructively, if they are willing to compromise.”
But he said “time is running out, each and every day”.
The three main sticking points remain the “level playing field” measures to prevent unfair competition, fisheries and the governance of any deal.
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