The UK and the EU made little progress in the latest round of negotiations on a free trade agreement ahead of the end of 2020 deadline. Alistair Jones, Associate Politics Professor at De Montfort University, criticised Britain’s approach in expecting Brussels to “bow down” to “fanciful demands”.
The claim prompted an angry reaction on the Daily Express Facebook page.
One reader commented: “Why can’t they accept we’re not taking any more of their dictating to us – we are a free country and won’t accept it any more.”
Another wrote: “And, of course, the EU basically wanting to keep us trapped in their rules and steal our fish meaning we are still in the EU is fine is it!”
A third said: “Audacious then Boris must be doing something right if they complaining obviously shows they not getting it their own way, no deal looking good.”
The UK is in a transition period with the EU until the end of the year while the two sides negotiate a free trade deal.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has repeatedly insisted he will not push back the deadline despite critics claiming the timeframe is too tight.
Mr Johnson’s Europe adviser David Frost slammed the EU’s approach to negotiations in a letter last week.
He said the UK found it “perplexing” that Brussels was continuing to make “unbalanced, and unprecedented” demands but argued “rapid” progress could be made if the bloc was willing to offer terms similar to those found in free trade agreements it had already struck with countries such as Canada and Japan.
Mr Frost said: “Overall, at this moment in negotiations, what is on offer is not a fair free trade relationship between close economic partners, but a relatively low-quality trade agreement coming with unprecedented EU oversight of our laws and institutions. It does not have to be like this.
“I remain convinced that it would be very straightforward for us to agree a modern and high-quality FTA and other separate agreements, like those you have agreed with other close partners around the world, and that we could do so quickly. “
But the EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, responded by hitting out at Mr Frost’s “tone” and warned a “new dynamism” was needed in talks if they are to avoid a “stalemate”.
It came after the latest round of trade talks which made little progress, with fishing arrangements and a level playing field on standards key sticking points.
Published at Mon, 25 May 2020 21:25:00 +0000