Barnier accuses UK of 'cherry picking' at talks
Iran Press TV
Wednesday, 10 June 2020 5:58 PM
In the latest blow to post-Brexit trade talks, the European Union's chief negotiator has accused the UK of making excessive demands on the bloc.
In an unusually strident intervention, Michel Barnier has told the UK he will not countenance "cherry picking" in bilateral negotiations on a future trade deal.
Barnier has accused the UK of seeking a future relationship with the EU that is very close to that of an EU member, but freed of the costs of membership.
"Britain is demanding a lot more from the EU than Canada, Japan or other parties", Barnier quipped.
The EU chief negotiator's latest pessimistic comments come on the heels of last week's failed negotiations, with Barnier complaining of a lack of "significant" progress.
The UK formally left the EU at the end of January after 47 years of membership and is currently in an 11-month transition period, which ends on December 31.
The two sides have just over six months to negotiate a free trade agreement and finalize the terms and conditions of their future relationship.
British and EU negotiators' last hope of a breakthrough before the end of the summer rests on a high-level virtual meeting (via video link) involving Prime Minister Boris Johnson, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, European Council President Charles Michel and possibly David-Sassoli, president of the European Parliament.
The video call summit is expected to take place later this month.
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