The president of the European Council, said the European Union would decide in the coming days, based on the UK’s next proposals, whether it should continue with trade talks.
Speaking at a press briefing Charles Michel said: “It is important to take into consideration all our conclusions and I think the message we send, it is a very clear one – we are determined to negotiate, we are determined to reach an agreement, but we know that there are some difficult topics.
“It is the case for fisheries, certainly, and also for level playing field and also governance.
“We intend to continue the negotiations on the basis of the mandate we have agreed and we repeat that we trust (EU chief negotiator) Michel Barnier, trust his way of working and the transparency between us.
All EU27 Leaders stand behind their negotiator.
We all want to reach an agreement, but not at any price.
— Charles Michel (@eucopresident) October 15, 2020
“We are united and we will make an assessment in the next days, we will see if it is possible to complete a negotiation, what will be the country’s (the UK’s) proposal and based on that we will make an assessment.”
UK negotiator Lord Frost said he was “disappointed” by the response from the European Council regarding the post-Brexit trade deal talks.
— David Frost (@DavidGHFrost) October 15, 2020
He tweeted: “Disappointed by the European Council conclusions on UK/EU negotiations.
“(I’m) surprised the EU is no longer committed to working ‘intensively’ to reach a future partnership as agreed with European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen on 3 October.
“Also surprised by the suggestion that to get an agreement all future moves must come from UK.
“It’s an unusual approach to conducting a negotiation.
“Prime Minister Boris Johnson will set out UK reactions and approach tomorrow in the light of his statement of September 7.”
EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier said at the press conference his team were determined to reach a “fair deal”.
— Barend Leyts (@BarendLeyts) October 15, 2020
“We will do everything we can but not at any price. My team and I will continue intensive discussions over the coming weeks,” he said.
Emmanuel Macron has also indicated that he is willing to take a hard line on fisheries, with the French President saying: “Under any circumstance, our fishermen should not be sacrificed for Brexit.
“If these conditions are not met, it’s possible we won’t have a deal. If the right terms can’t be found at the end of these discussions, we’re ready for a no-deal for our future relations.”