Writing on Twitter, David Frost dealt a hammer blow to hopes of the UK securing a Brexit deal with the EU. Lord Frost said he felt disappointed by the bloc’s conclusions on the ongoing post-Brexit trade talks. The EU put the onus on Britain to compromise on their new economic partnership. He said he was taken aback by Brussels’ stance that the UK should be the one to move on key demands, saying such an approach was “unusual”.
He said Boris Johnson would set out the UK’s Brexit approach on Friday.
Lord Frost said: “Disappointed by the #EUCO conclusions on UK/EU negotiations.
“Surprised EU is no longer committed to working ‘intensively’ to reach a future partnership as agreed with @vonderleyen on 3 October.
“Also surprised by suggestion that to get an agreement all future moves must come from UK. It’s an unusual approach to conducting a negotiation.”
Michel Barnier claimed he would remain committed to the discussions “until the last possible day”.
He said: “We want to give these discussions every chance of being successful so that we secure an agreement.
He said that he would be in touch with his British counterpart on Friday and would be in London over the weekend to seek an agreement that needs to be in place by the end of this year.
Mr Barnier said the bloc would do everything in its power to agree a trade deal with Britain – but not at any price.
The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator said for the UK to retain access to the EU market of 450 million consumers and 22 million companies it must agree to a level playing field.
He told a news conference: “We are absolutely determined to reach a fair deal with the UK. We will do everything that we can, but not at any price.”
His warning came after EU leaders discussed the impasse in Brexit negotiations.
He added: “My negotiation team and I will continue intensive discussions over the coming weeks.
“Our position has been crystal clear… If you want access to our market of 450 million people, there must be a level playing field.”
Speaking alongside Mr Barnier at the news conference, Charles Michel, president of the European Council, said the EU would decide in the coming days, based on the UK’s next proposals, whether it should continue with trade talks.
Mr Michel said: “It is important to take into consideration all our conclusions and I think the message we send, it is a very clear one – we are determined to negotiate, we are determined to reach an agreement, but we know that there are some difficult topics.
“It is the case for fisheries, certainly, and also for level playing field and also governance.
“We intend to continue the negotiations on the basis of the mandate we have agreed and we repeat that we trust (EU chief negotiator) Michel Barnier, trust his way of working and the transparency between us.
“We are united and we will make an assessment in the next days, we will see if it is possible to complete a negotiation, what will be the country’s (the UK’s) proposal and based on that we will make an assessment.”
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