Brexit LIVE: Barnier mocks UK demands for 2020 exit in leaked recording ‘We won’t do it!’
BORIS JOHNSON’S bid to “get Brexit done” has been mocked by EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier.
The Brussels Brexit chief told a private meeting of senior MEPs trade negotiations could not be completed in the timeframe set out by the Prime Minister. In a leaked recording, Mr Barnier is heard dismissing the UK’s 11-month timetable to wrap up trade talks by 2021 as “unrealistic” and suggesting negotiations will drag on until long after the end of next year.
He told the meeting: “With regards to this agreement, we will not get everything done in 11 months.
“We will do all we can – we won’t do it all.”
Mr Barnier, who was recently reappointed to lead the next round of Brexit talks for the EU side, told the meeting: “It is unrealistic that a global negotiation can be done in 11 months, so we can’t do it all.
“We will do all we can to get what I call the ‘vital minimum’ to establish a relationship with the UK if that is the time scale.”
Michel Barnier has dismissed Britain’s chance of a 2020 EU exit
He went on warn Britain would face another “cliff-edge” unless and extension to EU rules and regulations was accepted by Britain.
Mr Barnier said: “If there is no extension, we will still have a few months to achieve what I would describe as the minimum necessary for the economy and security or to prepare for a cliff-edge.
“Either we have a trade agreement or we will be in the WTO framework.
“We can’t take contingency measures on trade to give us more time. If there’s no deal, it is a cliff edge for trade.”
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