Michel Barnier the EU’s chief negotiator has conceded that his mandate could kill an opportunity for a trade deal.
He suggested that the EU are set to drop their demands for access to British fishing waters, and also said there has been no “significant progress” with post-Brexit talks.
Barnier has conceded that talks over fisheries, regulatory laws have failed after three days of talks.
He told reporters, “There has been no significant progress on these points.
“Not since the start of the negotiations and I don’t think we can go on like this forever.”
The Frenchman said political leaders will have to hold emergency talks over the mandate he was given, in order to try and secure a deal, and said talks will likely run until October.
The Brussels bureaucrat said, “Agreement of this type, such important agreements, are always agreed at the last minute, if there is agreement.
“There are issues of timing, it’s basically looking for a tunnel, that we have done on a number of previous agreements, perhaps at the end of the negotiations in October.
“We will no doubt need a very intensive round in order to get to the finishing line.”
Barnier added, “We’re going to need the coming three of four months, even if we work more intensively in July, August and September, we’re going to go right up to the line in October to find an agreement.
“This means negotiations will need now some extra political momentum. I’ve hoped that the British side will be given full leeway to negotiate on their side.”
He also conceded that the EU will have to change their stance on fisheries towards the UK.
He said, “We have very strong positions on both sides. The EU wants the status quo. The UK wants to change everything.
“If we want an agreement, we will have to discuss somewhere in between those two position, we are prepared to discuss what needs to be discussed.”
Barnier concluded by saying, “We recognise that now the UK is a third country it has sovereignty over its own waters. It is no longer bound by the Common Fisheries Policy.”
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