EU's Brexit position unravels: Barnier fears negotiating 'disaster' as Brussels row erupts

1 min


EU's Brexit position unravels: Barnier fears negotiating 'disaster' as Brussels row erupts 1

The EU still hasn’t finalised its negotiating strategy for the Brexit trade talks with the deadline less than three days away. There is growing panic in Brussels that the EU could miss the deadline for its final negotiating strategy, which would be a “disaster” for the talks. Key EU officials are scrambling to come to an agreement among the EU27 before Tuesday, amid concern that this would make Brussels look “unprepared and disorganised”.

EU officials told the BBC’s Adam Fleming that missing the Tuesday deadline would “play right into the hands of the Brits”.

Negotiations between the UK and the EU are due to start in the first week of March.

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However, to the alarm of leading EU officials, diplomats in Brussels are still working on the final negotiating position.

According to officials in Brussels, French President Emmanuel Macron is still pushing for more demanding conditions to be imposed on Britain.

Fleming explained: “Michel Barnier is finally, finally nearly ready to present his negotiating strategy.

“It is not done yet and there is an extra meeting of the ambassadors on Monday to finish it off.

“France has been pushing to tighten up the bit about the level-playing field.

“However, people are unsure whether that’s just a tactic for France to throw their weight around or whether its a genuine issue in the wording.

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