EU chief negotiator on Brexit Michel Barnier, declared Monday that the EU is prepared to offer London “the most ambitious” post-Brexit trade agreement, on condition that the UK respect the terms of the divorce. “If we manage to negotiate an orderly retreat, and to establish fair game rules for the future, our future relationship will have every reason to be ambitious,” M. Barnier states in a speech to a Brussels think tank.
Under these conditions, he added, “the European Union will be prepared to offer its most ambitious approach to free exchange treaties” to the UK.
The opening of trade negotiations with London requires the prior settlement of the terms of the divorce, like the consequences of the exit for Ireland, or the financial ruling.
European Council President Donald Tusk gave the UK until early December to progress on these priority questions, or else he will not be able to propose that the 27 leaders give the green light to the second phase of negotiations at an upcoming European summit, mid-December.
London requests in an insistent way that negotiations on this future relationship between the two partners begin as quickly as possible once the divorce is consummated.