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No ‘cherry-picking’: EU’s Michel Barnier calls Brexit secretary for transition talks

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Spoke to reporters in Brussels today

EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has summoned the UK’s Brexit secretary, David Davis, to Brussels to discuss major differences remaining between the UK and EU over the transition period, including its end date.

Talking to reporters in Brussels today, Barnier said he hoped the publication of a draft withdrawal agreement tomorrow would help address unresolved issues. He also ruled out Britain “cherry-picking” the aspects of the EU it liked when it leaves the bloc.

Last week, European Council President Donald Tusk had dismissed the British ideas for a three-pronged deal— in which Britain would stick to the bloc’s rules after Brexit in some areas, diverge moderately in others and go its own way for the rest— as “pure illusion”.

So when media asked Barnier today if he agreed with Tusk, he replied: “yes”.

“We can’t possible imagine a situation in which we would accept cherry-picking. We are responsible for guaranteeing the integrity of the single market. The UK knows what the rules are that underpin that integrity because they’ve been helping us put them together for the last 40 years,” Barnier told media.

The EU negotiator was also asked about the comments by Boris Johnson where he suggested the border issue could be dealt with by a system similar to that used to collect the congestion charge in London. To this he clarified: “What counts here is what the British prime minister says.”




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