The European Commission is not impressed by the threats from the United Kingdom on the brexit negotiations. This morning, the Financial Times wrote that the British government intends to bring forward a bill repealing important parts of the previously concluded exit agreement.
President Von der Leyen says she has every confidence that the British will keep to the previous agreements. This concerns in particular the border between the European Union and Northern Ireland. “The agreements on Northern Ireland are essential,” Von der Leyen says.
Negotiator Barnier also has confidence in the agreements made earlier. Tomorrow a new round of negotiations starts in London.
There are concerns in the European Parliament. Kati Piri (PvdA), the brexit negotiator on behalf of the European Parliament, thinks that the British are drawing a very dangerous map. “It’s normal to play hardball in the final stage of negotiations, but now the reliability of the UK is at stake.”
“If they revoke their signature on a previously concluded agreement, how are you going to conclude trade agreements at all in the future?” she wonders.
Prime Minister Rutte says he has also heard “the rumours” and does not know what is true. “I can say I have general confidence in Boris Johnson and assume that Britons are decent people who keep their promises.”
According to Rutte, the latter is also in the interest of the British themselves, because otherwise the economic damage could be great. In the meantime, the Netherlands must also continue to prepare for a no-deal, acknowledged the Prime Minister, who calls it a “huge logistical operation”.
The trade agreement now under discussion must be ready before 31 October, otherwise the European Parliament will not deal with it in time. “We need time, because the trade part alone already covers 500 pages,” says brexit negotiator Piri.
Rules of the game
According to diplomats, the talks are deadlocked. “We don’t even agree whether this is the eighth or ninth round of negotiations,” says a diplomat closely involved in the negotiations. “Brussels thinks we’re on the eighth round, while London is on round nine.
“The main difference of opinion is about whether the British are allowed to decide for themselves whether companies can be supported, while the European Union believes that they are, because in the rest of the EU state aid is also forbidden. “If you want to have access to the internal market you also have to respect the rules of the game”, is the view of the negotiating team led by Barnier.
Furthermore, the distribution of fishing grounds is a major problem. The United Kingdom wants to catch the British fish itself and also wants to determine how much fish can be caught.