Share article:
Share article:

Brexit: UK accused of slowing down negotiations

Credit: Belga

The European Commission’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has accused the United Kingdom of slowing down the Brexit talks.

Barnier addressed the press on Friday after a week of negotiations, which had been delayed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

While British negotiator David Frost reiterated that “the government wish not to extend the transition period and that the job could be done by the end of the year,” Barnier accused British negotiators of slowing down the process as they refuse to take a position on several central elements of the discussion.

The transition period involves the UK temporarily remaining part of the customs union and the single market, despite having politically left the EU at the end of January. The period is currently set to end on 31 December.

Related Posts

 

“The goal of moving towards tangible progress on all subjects in parallel was only very partially achieved during this week’s round,” Barnier said. “The United Kingdom has been unwilling to make serious commitments on a certain number of key issues” that are part of the political declaration linked to the withdrawal treaty.

Four areas “in which the progress this week was disappointing” were negotiations about a level playing field regarding fair and open competition, the overall governance of the future partnership, justice-related partnership, and fisheries.

“We cannot agree to make progress on a limited number of subjects, we must make progress on all subjects in parallel,” he asserted. “The United Kingdom cannot refuse to extend the transition period and at the same time slow down the pace of discussions on very important issues.”

“We agreed with Boris Johnson to hold a high-level conference in June to take stock of the progress,” Barnier said. Before that, two more rounds of negotiations will be held in the weeks of 11 May and 1 June “to make real tangible process across all areas,” he said.

Jason Spinks
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Belgian Health Minister wants pharmacists to administer vaccines
Federal Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke has said he wants to change Belgium's law to allow pharmacists to administer Covid-19 vaccines against, ...
Ruined photos from flood victims restored for free
Much of what victims of this summer’s deadly flooding lost is irreplaceable, but when it comes to photographs that were ruined, a Brussels company is ...
New Belgian video game aims to help children who stutter
A new video game by Belgian-American start-up Say It Labs aims to teach children with a stutter various techniques to improve their speech.  ...
More than 1 in 4 Belgians use mobile phones whilst driving
A recent European study into the use of mobile phones whilst driving highlights some alarming results: 26% of Belgians read or send messages on their ...
Belgium in Brief: Memories Of Masks
Belgium's experts are concerned with the rising coronavirus figures. One possible solution could be that, once again, masks are used more widely. ...
Museum Night Fever returns to Brussels on Saturday night
After a break last year, Museum Night Fever 2021 is back again with free visits to 32 museums hosting performances, music and other events. The ...
More than €1.5 billion injected into SNCB
More than €1.5 billion in additional funding has been injected into the Belgian railways, Federal Mobility Minister Georges Gilkinet told the House ...
Non-vaccinated applicants no longer welcome at ZNA hospitals in Antwerp
The Antwerp hospital group ZNA is only taking on new employees who have been vaccinated against the coronavirus, according to reporting from VRT. ...
Pharmacies prepare to administer more rapid antigen tests
From November, anyone presenting coronavirus symptoms for less than six days will be able to take a rapid antigen test in a pharmacy, announced the ...
Chocolate, Christmas, and cocaine
Do you consider yourself a news buff? Someone constantly on top of what's going on? Then maybe you have what it takes to ace The Brussels Times ...
Introduction of Covid Safe Ticket leads more in Brussels to get vaccinated
The introduction of the Covid Safe Ticket (CST) in the Brussels-Capital Region on 15 October seems to have led to a higher number of residents ...
More and more testimonies, and a second rally against sexual violence in Brussels
A second rally against sexual violence was held in the Brussels neighbourhood of Ixelles on Thursday evening, and a sister-rally was held ...