European Commission Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier/Olivier Matthys/AFP via Getty Images
Groundhog Day for Brexit talks
Michel Barnier slammed the UK for lack of progress after second round of negotiations about Britain’s relationship with the EU — but we’ve been here before.
Updated 4/24/20, 7:49 PM CET
Some things never change.
At a solo press conference following a round of Brexit talks in Brussels, the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier warned the U.K. may not get a deal if London continues to dispute the EU’s proposed terms.
This was not just the message of a visibly annoyed Barnier on Friday — as he spoke after the second round of negotiations on future relations between the EU and the U.K. — it was also his message in February 2018, when then Prime Minister Theresa May had a list of objections to the terms of the transition period. And the EU’s chief negotiator had the same message in July 2018 on May’s white paper and at a press conference in August 2018 on the U.K.’s backstop plan.
So understandably, for many Friday’s message felt like Groundhog Day.
“It’s exactly that, and it will be the same after the third round,” one EU official said.
They can’t even agree what kind of deal they are aiming for. While the U.K. is looking for looser arrangements, the EU wants a comprehensive deal covering all areas.