Michel Barnier said he’s certain that Boris Johnson’s chief negotiator David Frost will first budge to break the bitter impasse in the Brexit trade talks when they resume meeting tomorrow.
Michel Barnier who’s the European Union’s lead negotiator has informed capitals that he believes that Mr Frost will be the first to accept a move towards a middle-ground compromise deal.
The chief negotiator’s team had revealed that diplomats Downing Street will push hard to break the deadlock to create a pleasing impression that they are not failing anyways. He further claimed that Mr Frost could possibly drop his refusal to engage on some of the EU’s most controversial demands.
However, the EU negotiator revealed last week that he is willing to compromise on the bloc’s hardline stance if Britain agrees to accept he stand on a post-Brexit trade deal.
Should things go his way, it would allow both Britain and the EU to claim victory and put an end to the bitter stalemate ahead of a higher summit between UK prime minister Boris Johnson and EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen later this summer.
“The Commission expects more engagement from Britain in order to create a landing zone ahead of the high-level meeting,” an EU source said.
The UK Prime Minister’s spokesperson said whatever agreement would require Brussels to reconsider its stand, so the benefit will balance on both sides. According to him, “In relation to the level-playing field, the EU has insisted on inserting these novel and unbalanced proposals, which would subject the UK to UK laws or standards.
“These proposals are unprecedented for a free-trade agreement. As soon as the EU recognises that we will not accept an agreement on that basis we will be able to make progress. We’re hoping this latest round of talks is constructive and we hope it will keep the progress on track ahead of the high-level meeting this month.”
So far, the relationship between the UK and EU have remained strained during negotiations, with both sides always clashing over future fishing rights and a regulatory level playing field.
EU officials, including Mr Barnier, have complained about the aggressive tone of the talks in recent weeks.
EU officials are not happy with the aggressive tone of the talks, but it seems Mr Frost’s Taskforce has not seen anything wrong in the way talks are going as they insist it’s a healthy way to go about matters of this nature between two sovereigns.
More so, the British representatives believe it has clinched a couple of areas where the EU might be willing to readjust its position but may not have found “signals” from the bloc’s negotiating team.