European Commission's Chief Brexit Negotiator Michel Barnier | Paul McErlane/EPA
Michel Barnier: ‘No agreement’ unless UK sticks to Brexit promises
‘We remember very clearly the text which we negotiated with Boris Johnson,’ the EU’s chief negotiator said.
Updated 5/31/20, 11:28 AM CET
Boris Johnson needs to “remember” the promises he made in the Political Declaration that was part of last year’s Brexit deal, if he wants to avoid a failure of trade talks, the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier said Sunday.
Speaking ahead of a final round of negotiations before a “stock take” in June, Barnier told the Sunday Times that London needed to “show more realism” if it wanted a deal.
That meant Johnson should honor the “commitments” on maintaining a level playing field with the EU and fisheries access that he entered into when he signed the Political Declaration. The document set out goals for the future relationship between the U.K. and EU but unlike the Withdrawal Agreement it is not legally binding.
“We remember very clearly the text which we negotiated with Boris Johnson. And we just want to see that complied with. To the letter… And if that doesn’t happen, there will be no agreement,” said Barnier.
Barnier said the contours of a trade deal had been clear to both sides.
“The U.K. has been taking a step back — two steps back, three steps back — from the original commitments. The U.K. negotiators need to be fully in line with what the prime minister signed up to with us.