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EU warns UK ‘no time to waste’ on Brexit talks

EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier urges the UK to progress Brexit talks as three months have passed since triggering Article 50


The European Union’s Michel Barnier has warned there is a risk of the UK crashing out of the EU in 2019 if more time is “wasted” ahead of the Brexit talks.

In an interview with the Financial Times and a group of European newspapers, Barnier says it is crucial the UK appoints a negotiating team that is “stable, accountable and with a mandate.”

Barnier, who is the EU’s chief negotiator on Brexit, says: “Next week, it will be three months after the sending of the Article 50 letter.

“We haven’t negotiated, we haven’t progressed. Thus we must begin this negotiation. We are ready as soon as the UK itself is ready.”

He adds: “My preoccupation is that time is passing, it is passing quicker than anyone believes because the subjects we have to deal with are extraordinarily complex. I can’t negotiate with myself.

“It will take us several months to draw out the conditions of an orderly withdrawal … so let’s not waste time.”


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There are 5 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Interesting given it was the EU’s requirement to delay talks until it was ready after the various elections in Europe!

  2. First up, We’re not going to pay a €100Bn exit bill. Secondly, we’re not prepared to compromise on immigration control.

    No deal is better than a bad deal. Now what?

  3. The obvious course of action is to have as many free trade deals as possible ready to go once we leave the EU. Then sit and wait for the EU to make the case for why its proposed Brexit deal is better than WTO rules between us. It has to make that case. It’s not really a negotiation. We are leaving. It must make us an offer.
    And remember, the longer we wait, the weaker the EU’s position. The EU’s struggling states are illustrating just why at the moment

  4. Julian appears to be our chief brexit negotiator/dictator. Glad to see he’s adopting the stubborn, obnoxious approach to negotiation that has worked so well in the past.

  5. Matt, would have responded sooner but have to disagree. A classic negotiating tactic is to start with a very aggressive position so that the eventual ‘middle ground’ is much more weighted in the favour of the aggressor rather than the side who starts off reasonably. This is how the EU started. The only way to counter this (and I do get exasperated with the terms hard and soft when the more accurate terms should be fair or not fair to both sides) is to also take a very firm stance.

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