French President Emmanuel Macron who appears to be one of the major issues preventing successful post-Brexit deal talks with the EU considering his stance on fisheries seem to be acting desperately, but indirectly to get Boris Johnson back to the negotiating table after the UK PM bombshell announcement yesterday.
Mr Johnson who’s currently facing backlash from Brexiteers who want him to walk away without a deal had announced yesterday that the EU should prepare for no-deal January 1 2021, and that seems to have sparked panic among the bloc.
Mr Johnson called off negotiations scheduled for Monday and warned it was time to “get ready” to leave without a deal. In reaction, President Macron told reporters during his EU summit press conference:
“Whatever the British people were told in the referendum, they need Europe’s internal market. They are much more reliant on us than we are on them. It’s the United Kingdom that wanted to leave the European Union and which needs a deal more than we do.
“Yet today the British proposal is access to the European market without respecting the rules. It’s not the job of the remaining 27 EU member states who chose to remain to make the British Prime Minister happy.”
The French leader later took it to Twitter, saying via his official account, “In view of Brexit, the British need a deal more than the European Union. The Europeans are ready to continue negotiations. Our conditions are clear and known. It is now up to the UK to choose whether or not it wants a deal.”
Mr Macron may no longer be as hard as he has always been on fisheries but may find it difficult to say so, as he had earlier signalled a softening stance on fisheries, saying French fishermen know they won’t get the same access to British fishing waters after Brexit.
“Will the situation be the same as today’s? No, that’s for sure. Our fishermen know it, we know it too. We’ll have to help them. But can we accept a Brexit that sacrifices our fishermen? No,” he said.
Mr Johnson yesterday expressed his disappointment over Brussels unserious style of negotiation, he said, “As far as I can see there, they’ve abandoned the idea of a free trade deal, there doesn’t seem to be any progress coming from Brussels.
“I have concluded that we should get ready for January 1 with arrangements that are more like Australia’s based on simple principles of global free trade.”
Although authorities like Angela Merkel and Ursula von der Leyen still believed the negotiations would go ahead next Monday, she may have known things are no longer the same as the EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier was told not to come to London next week.
David Frost who leads the UK negotiating teal told his European counterpart not to come to London on Monday to continue talks, with Mr Johnson’s spokesperson saying official talks were “over” and there was “no point” keeping the Monday appointment.
It’s not immediately clear if Lords Frost will still meet with the EU lead negotiator next week Monday or not.