Barnier sets Wednesday deadline to reach an agreement on the negotiations between the UK and the EU as talks enter the endgame
Talk of a breakthrough on the issues of fisheries in negotiation between the UK and the EU has been played down by Chief Negotiator, Michel Barnier.
Speaking to RTÉ this morning, Irish Foreign Affairs Minister, Simon Coveney said, that Mr Barnier, had been downbeat about finding a solution in the current negotiations.
Last night it was on the rumour mill that there had been some movement on both sides towards an agreement with some news publications in the UK claiming there had been a breakthrough on fisheries but since last night, EU diplomats have distant themselves from any of the claims.
Instead, today, Michel Barnier has told EU MEPs that the negotiations on a post-Brexit deal will continue until Wednesday, and he has advised his UK counterparts that the EU will not go past this deadline, if the Westminster government presses ahead with the Internal Market Bill and the Finance Bill.
Mr Barnier has warned MEPs that the talks are in ‘endgame’ and there would have to be a decision by Thursday whether or not there would be an agreement but if there was no agreement between the EU and the UK by then, the European Commission would be ready to react immediately with contingency plans.
Pressure is also coming from the United States as President Elect, Joe Biden has weighed in on the issue of the Internal Market and Finance Bills debate warning that the US would not stand for any breaches of the Northern Ireland Protocol. Mr Biden has said that if the Bills were passed, it would cause huge damage to the UK’s international reputation if it violated an international agreement that it had signed.
A phone call is due to take place between British PM, Boris Johnson and EU Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen at 4.00pm today.