Thu, 13 June 2024

Newsletter sign-up

Subscribe now
The House Live All
Britain’s Chemical Industry Fuelling UK Growth: A Plan for the Next Government Partner content
Harnessing North East Devolution Partner content
By Port of Tyne
Construction sector could cut prison leaver unemployment with right support Partner content
How the next Government can start planning for growth Partner content
Press releases

Michel Barnier 'wants to start work on trade talks'

John Ashmore

2 min read

The EU's chief Brexit negotiator is pushing to begin work on the future trading relationship with the UK, despite opposition from the German government. 

The Times reports that Michel Barnier will ask the heads of EU member states for permission to start preparatory work on both a transitional arrangement and a future trade deal.

The Frenchman will hold talks with the EU27 on his negotiating mandate from October until December, with the hope of getting talks on the transition up and running. 

Last Friday Mr Barnier called for his existing guidelines, which do not allow for discussion of transitional arrangements, to be relaxed.

However the German government are said to want written assurances on the size of the UK's so-called 'divorce bill'. 

A diplomatic source told the paper: "Germany wants more and it wants it more or less in writing. That is toxic for the British."

Brexit Secretary David Davis has so far refused to commit to a specific number, although Theresa May signalled in her recent Florence speech that the UK would contribute at least €20bn into the EU budget after Brexit.


Elsewhere the head of the European Council, Donald Tusk, suggested a 'no deal' scenario could become more likely if there is not more progress on exit talks by the end of this year.

“We are negotiating in good faith, and we still hope that the so-called ‘sufficient progress’ will be possible by December,” he said.

“However, if it turns out that the talks continue at a slow pace, and that ‘sufficient progress’ hasn’t been reached, then together with our UK friends we will have to think about where we are heading.”

PoliticsHome Newsletters

PoliticsHome provides the most comprehensive coverage of UK politics anywhere on the web, offering high quality original reporting and analysis: Subscribe


Brexit Economy
Engineering a Better World

The Engineering a Better World podcast series from The House magazine and the IET is back for series two! New host Jonn Elledge discusses with parliamentarians and industry experts how technology and engineering can provide policy solutions to our changing world.

NEW SERIES - Listen now