Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo warned that a bad Brexit deal would be worse than a no-deal upon arrival at today’s European summit.
“I hope that we can find an agreement, because we really are in the final days to find out,” De Croo pointed out.
However, he worried of the consequences of a bad deal, referring to conditions of access for British companies to the European single market. “Giving access to the European market really is an important thing, but giving access should be on a level playing field,” De Croo underlined.
He then tweeted that “we are not going to put our Belgian companies on sale,” adding again that “anyone who wants access to the European market must play the game fairly.
Hopelijk kunnen we no deal #brexit vermijden. Maar een slecht akkoord is mogelijk nog slechter dan geen akkoord.We gaan onze Belgische bedrijven niet in de uitverkoop zetten. Wie toegang wil tot de Europese markt, moet het spel eerlijk spelen. pic.twitter.com/g8vUwnHItz — Alexander De Croo (@alexanderdecroo) December 10, 2020
The level playing field is one of several major points of contention making the EU’s and the UK’s positions “remain far apart,” as European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen tweeted on Wednesday night after meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Negotiators have been given until Sunday to reach a deal, though it may actually be too late to implement an agreement by 1 January 2021, when the UK leaves the EU’s single market and customs union. The Commission has in fact put forth a set of contingency measures in order “to be prepared for all eventualities,” von der Leyen said.
The Brussels Times