EU politicians are warning that the UK’s current “negotiating trap” will not work and the EU will not fall into it.
Politicians from Germany and France have criticised the UK’s approach to the Brexit negotiations with the EU. They claim the UK is running down the clock in order to push the EU into a deal.
As it stands, the UK is set to leave the EU at the end of the month, at 11pm on New Year’s Eve.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said with regard to the talks: “We hope that these talks will come to a happy ending. We don’t need an agreement at any price. We want one, but otherwise we’ll take measures that are necessary. In any case, a deal is in the interest of all.”
However she also said: “Some Member States are now becoming unsettled. There’s not much time left.”
France’s Minister for European Affairs, Clément Beaune, said that the UK’s tactics would not work. He added: “We have a bit of time left, but still a long way to go and if the UK believes that time left works in its favour as it has in the past few years, that is not the case.”
Mr Beaune also said with regard to the clashes on the UK’s fisheries position: “There can be no agreement unless there is one that gives sustainable and wide-ranging access to British waters … our terms are known, they are not new.”
The Guardian also reported that an EU diplomat has said in respect of the negotiations: “We are quickly approaching a make-or-break moment in the Brexit talks. Intensive negotiations are continuing in London. As of this morning, it is still unclear whether negotiators can bridge the gaps on issues like level playing, governance and fisheries.
“As we are entering the endgame of the Brexit negotiations, some Member States are becoming a bit jittery. So this was mostly an exercise to calm nerves in Paris and elsewhere, and to reassure Member States that Team Barnier will continue to defend core EU interests, including on fisheries.”