Image copyright AFP Image caption French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian predicted the two sides would “rip each other apart”
France has warned Britain to expect a bruising battle with the EU in post-Brexit trade negotiations.
French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian predicted the two sides would “rip each other apart” as they strove for advantage in the negotiations.
He also said it would be tough for the UK to achieve its aim of agreeing a free trade deal by the end of the year.
The UK government said it wanted a deal based on “friendly co-operation between sovereign equals”.
The UK formally left the EU two weeks ago but still trades like a member under a transition period which ends on 31 December.
Speaking at a security conference in Munich on Sunday, Mr Le Drian said the two sides were far apart on a range of issues.
He said: “I think that on trade issues and the mechanism for future relations, which we are going to start on, we are going to rip each other apart.
“But that is part of negotiations, everyone will defend their own interests.”
Image copyright AFP Image caption European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has previously cast doubt on Boris Johnson’s aim to reach a comprehensive agreement by the end of the year
Mr Le Drian, a close ally of President Emmanuel Macron, is the latest senior EU figure to warn that the negotiations will be difficult.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and chief negotiator Michel Barnier have both cast doubt on Boris Johnson’s aim to reach a comprehensive agreement by the end of the year.
- Brexit: Will it be a Canadian or an Australian ending?
- Britain ‘will not be aligning with EU rules’ – Raab
The EU has repeatedly warned that the UK cannot expect to enjoy continued “high quali