The British must now finally move so that a final Brexit agreement can be made. According to the president of the European Council, Charles Michel, now is the time to make concessions.
Michel took a break from the European summit in Brussels at a press conference. But he had not yet heard the answer from London in a recurring tweet. “Disappointed at the conclusions of the European summit”, British chief negotiator David Frost tweeted.
— David Frost (@DavidGHFrost) October 15, 2020
The disappointment is about the formal conclusions of the summit. Initially, the text stated that EU negotiator Michel Barnier would intensify talks with the British in the coming weeks. But that sentence died today. It now says that the EU is continuing its talks with the United Kingdom.
In addition, Frost is angry at the fact that only the British have to take steps. With an hypothermic tone, he tweets that it’s an unusual way to negotiate this way.
Today, EU leaders spoke for the first time in a long time about the brexit. The negotiations have recently been left to Barnier, who has repeatedly said that things are not going well.
Before that, the heads of government were united in their comments. That is what French president Macron De brexit called the fault not of Europe but of the British people. “We did not choose brexit.’Prime Minister Rutte is also on that line:’ it is not Europe, we are doing everything we can.”
One of the main problems at the meeting is the level playing field to be created for European and British companies. The EU’s aim is to prevent European companies from competing.
On Monday, the negotiations will continue, said Barnier. He has not been given a new mandate from the heads of government, and so he has had to cope with what he has had for almost a year. ‘It is fine that the United Kingdom wants to be sovereign on 1 January, but that should not be at the expense of our companies’, he spoke fiercely at the press conference.
Another problem, with less than a hundred days to go until 1 January, is fish. Although it is a small sector, it is one of the biggest stumbling blocks. And it has been for a long time. “There is no movement in the fish,” said a high EU diplomat.
For the time being, the countries in the North Sea, including the Netherlands and France, are opposed to a deal. The EU continues to demand that fishermen should also be allowed to fish in British waters. In addition, they do not want to argue each year about the number of quotas of which species may be caught in those waters.
Tomorrow, British Prime Minister Johnson will respond from London. He referred earlier to this EU summit as a last chance for an agreement.